1963-09-24 - In the court of the All-Father
Summary: Both personal matters and matters of the Realm are taken care of. (Odin and Frigga spoofed by Thor, Karnilla spoofed by Rogue.)
Related: Pretty much most of what's been going on with the Asgardians…
Theme Song: None
crystal sif amora rogue fandral thor balder louis strange 

It's the end of the second festival marking the occuasion of the solstice. That day when the day and light hang even, though all know that come the next day, the world will be longer and longer in the dark than the day. Harvests are drawn in, and the stores are filled, but the hunters are ready for their jobs now that the sacrifices have been made to the temples dotted all about the Golden City.

And this evening is the time now where Odin, the All-Father, opens his Court. Not only is it to matters of state, but also personal matters.. the presenting of children, of the sick, the infirm for blessings from the almighty All-Father, or a word of care and concern from the Queen who sits in state with her husband. All those of Asgard are dressed in their finery, making it quite the spectacle. Lines are through the Palace, and the guards keep order. They too are dressed up for the occasion, but there is no question that their job is taken quite seriously.

There are those special personnages, and when they arrive, there are whispers that rise from the sides of the Great Hall. Dr. Strange had been met by a small retinue of three guards, again.. dressed ornately for the occasion, but more than simply ceremonial. Courtesy and politeness are the order of the day, however, and upon the walk across the Bifrost into the Golden City, one does avail himself for any questions. It is at this time that Dr. Strange will learn that both the King and Queen sit in state, and that they are indeed looking forward to your introduction into court.

Those lining the halls, however, don't have that chance to push through as members of the Royal family are presented and given a place on the dais for their rank and priviledge. Thor is dressed in regalia standing there, his hands clasped before him looking out on the crowd gathered, his black and red giving something of a flash, but unfortunately Crystalia has yet to be introduced, and should things turn out well, will take her place closer to the stair nearest the Crown Prince.

The Heralds are in full form as they call names for business with the court.

'Hranfast Gerisson' needs aid for his crops for next season. Worms. 'Osvif Thorarinsson' has a curse on his sheep.. and so it goes.

Through it all, Odin remains quiet, his voice barely above a whisper even if he can be heard throughout the hall. He looks almost fatherly; the shock of white hair, his white beard, and, of course, the single eyepatch that covers an unseeing eye. Frigga remains silent, resplendant in a golden shimmered dress, golden brooches with throws, her hair up.


Balder is standing there on the dais, on the side of the throne opposite Thor, the various princes flanking Odin and Frigga. His hands are clasped loosely behind his back, almost in a parade rest position but more relaxed. Like the others, he's dressed in his best finery. In his case, it's his usual purple and gold and glances down a moment, he reaches forward to idly brush off a speck before he looks back out over the room.


Lady Sif arrives after a time, without much fanfaire and lateness. Her typical red and silver armor adorned, though this brand of armor looked of royal and official dress more than anything. There was an air of silence about her, even a lifted hand to halt the announcement of her arrival.


For today, Crystal has gone back to one of the fine elven gowns she acquired just for these occasions, a confection of blue, gray, silver, and platinum like lightning-split stormy skies. The material is fine and light, like mist or fog, fitted to her form only over her shoulders and beneath her bust. With her hair piled in loose curls atop her head and even make up done in shimmering tones, she at least doesn't disappear into the crowd of petitioners.

Finding out that Thor would already be on the dais was a surprise to her. Thor has his place. Amora is certainly in no position to stand with her now. And so she stands tall, doing her best to look the part of confident royalty as she enters unescorted.


The moment seemed right. After all, following a mid-meditational Mystical check on the Earth as a whole - and most definitely noting of the absence of certain magical signatures, including one very familiar to him - nothing was keeping him from suiting up, Cloak and all, and calling upon the Gatekeeper to transport him safely to the Realm of Asgard. This whole ordeal felt like a stubborn suture; might as well remove it with intent instead of stalling.

Strange stands in the back of his mansion, within the small green growth of a yard, and rubs thoughtfully at one line of his goatee.

"Was it Heirntell? Horndill?" A sudden snap of his fingers and grin of success indicate the correct memory: "Heimdall." There's a tug on his body as a whole, the subtle momentary feel of a vacuum followed by the impression that someone is undeniably staring between his shoulderblades. Strange's steel-blue gaze flickers up and behind him to glitter beneath a frown. He turns about as he clears his throat and squares his shoulders (and readies himself for any sort of physical forces on his innards). "This is Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme, of Midgard. I wish to speak with Odin in regards to the matter of my apprentice's trespass."

Heimdall himself is a singular sight. His eyes are eerie and a point of focus as Strange's brain catches up with his rapid ascent (descent? side-scent?). It's all a blur of being drawn through a narrow tube made of resplendent light in every hue and the distant swirls of galaxies and nearby stars and he can barely process it currently. The good doctor manages to avoid wobbling about too much and is quickly greeted by a set of guards, his escort into the city proper. He learns, through polite questioning, of the presence of both Odin and Frigga at Court and that he's arrived with delightful timing as the Court is now open for session. The beauty of the Bifrost bridge is not lost to him; he knows he'll dream of it during his next sleep. The city itself is some oddly-acceptable melding of ancient Norse wood- and ironwork and mind-straining magically-devised architecture. He's given some looks of surprise and whispers from the locals follow in his wake, but the guards' presence deters any nosy passersby from studying Strange closer.

The palace itself is grand indeed and he can't help but glance about him as they travel along towards a centralized area. He is paused in the middle of a sort of foyer, full of darkwood paneling and scrolling runic designs and thin tall windows set into the walls. Beyond the huge archway that splits the rooms, he can see the far thrones of Asgard's royalty and hear the murmurings of the gathered crowd. He slowly inhales and exhales, adopting a pose of calm composure as he waits his turn.


Famed personages dominate the Asgardian court, consumed by the splendour and excitement of judgments handed down by the All-father. Who takes note of the only other human present? She has not the stature of title or rank, nor glorious visions of wealth. Scarlet's supernal features project unerring tranquility or its near cousin awe, her hooded gaze almost somnolent. For all she sees, all these mirthful and wondrous dreams, she scarce allows any impression to blot her countenance.

If guards follow her, they have perhaps the simplest of all tasks keeping pace with her smooth, measured stride beneath that gossamer vision of the aurora spun around her: steeped viridian and nephrite and hunter greens shocked by gold. Gloved hands lace together as she melts into the crowd, much as one can, marking positions: Crystalia. Thor. Doctor Strange.


Odin gives the impression for those around him that he listens keenly to every issue brought forth to him, from worms or mice in the grain to the sickly sheep that may not make the winter to the fertility problems of women who have already had numerous children. As others arrive, those guests and those known to the palace, the two coal-black ravens fly in and land upon either side of the All-Father's throne, cawing loudly. The All-Father looks to those corners and they who think they've snuck in unremarked are sadly mistaken.

Thor steps forward finally in the lull of the pomp and circumstance, and he keeps his head high and his voice pitched evenly, though it is a battle. Sif's entrance, what she wears and where she is isn't lost on him. Where once she stood near the dais, near them, now she's in the audience, and his heart is heavy.

"My king," Thor steps before the throne and he kneels on a single knee, "I ask that you give me leave so that I may introduce to you a Lady of no equal, from Midgard but not of Midgard. Princess Crystalia Amaquelin of Attilan.. and I seek from you permission to court her, as set in her request."

Odin's brow rises, but he's not surprised in the least, and he nods to the court herald who announces, "Let Princess Crystalia approach the throne."

Thor remains in place, not yet relieved and allowed to rise. Deliberately.

"Prince Thor," Odin begins again, "You have been absent these days, from Asgard and your duties. Should you be denied your suit, do we expect that you shall once again depart, or do you consider your duty to Asgard and the throne to be of some minor importance?" The eyes and ears of the ravens are everywhere… "It is my understanding that your departure and arrival has caused no little consternation."

Dr. Strange's entrance isn't missed either, and there is a slight gesture that signals his guards that the good doctor should be brought a little closer to the throne. His business is coming… as is Sif's. (She didn't think she'd only need Thor's 'permission', did she?)


Perhaps the one about the woman who was infertile who already has many children is what has Lady Sif grinning. The man was generous with his gift of life, that was for certain. It was as if he planned to fill the halls, houses, and home just with his creed alone. Though Thor's approach to the All-Father has her gaze lowering. Her hands soon placed flushed within her lap to realign herself as she lifts her chin to watch and listen.


Odin calls her forward, and Crystal steps forward, moving through the surprised sounds of the crowd. In a crowd of Asgardians, she's a slight presence, barely reaching the shoulder of most of the men. Still, she keeps her chin high until she reaches the base of the stairs. There she folds into a gracefully low curtsey, skirts billowing around her like a swirl of dense fog rolling into a valley. It isn't quite natural, though neither is it a brazen display of her powers. She takes her cue from Thor, head bowed as she waits for the All-Father to finish with his son.


As each case is presented, Balder listening just as intently as Odin, genuinely interested in the plights of those who come for advice, assistance or to seek redress. And then Thor moves forward to present his own case. Unlike Odin, he is surprised and he looks around to see just where this woman of Midgard is and tracks her progress forward. And then his gaze sweeps the room again and ends on Sif.


Absorbing the customs from a book is nothing to seeing them in action. Scarlett's observation within the front ranks of the audience comes without interruption, though she mingles among the other guests. A step here or there fill those tight spaces where rank and file step aside to allow others past, maneuvering her to a more desirable spot. Ideal view notwithstanding, she seeks better lines of clarity for exits and entrances. A habit, perhaps.


Strange glances between his guards as the distant voices of the royal family reach him. He's clearly a bit concerned about approaching the All-Father during such a potentially tense time, but the guards obey their liege and he won't jeopardize his diplomatic visit with hesitance. After the nod of one guard towards the wide pathway leading up to the throne, the good doctor begins his travels into the throne room.

There are some familiar faces - he could hear the voices of Odin and Thor clearly. That must be Queen Frigga, garbed in gold, next to old One-Eye. He doesn't know of any others, including the demure woman who just curtsied before the king and the man who has a sense of genetic similarity to Thor. He is led up to the beginning of the open space before the throne and then into it, shuffled to one side along with other Asgardian courtiers - and Scarlett!

Strange's eyes widen subtly at the sight of the young woman and he schools his face very quickly back to neutrality as he settles once more in place between his escorts. So this is where she's been.


Sif catches sight of Balder's gaze upon her person. And for a moment, she looks non-plussed. A second later? Irritated. A third? Those eyes cross -OH SO HEAVILY- to get his gaze to stray. HAH. Try that, Prince Balder Odinson!


Odin watches as Crystal approaches, appraisingly, as if trying to divine exactly who this woman is and isn't getting as many answers as he'd care to. Glancing beside him, Frigga has a ghosted smile on her face as she watches the Princess. That doesn't keep the Queen from looking beyond and noting where and how things differ, and it doesn't make her too terribly happy.

Thor tries to keep his expression .. as dutiful as he can, but this is something he's been asked over, and over. "I understand, your Majesty." It's not quite an answer, certainly.

"And you, child.." Odin looks to Crystal, his expression softening. "Do you accept this suit, knowing what you do of us now? Do you come into this with understanding what your place will be should this suit be successful?" It's a little different than with Jane, for certain… but could be for a number of reasons. Odin makes a soft sound, now bidding the pair to rise from their place. "Answer me that, and I shall give you my answer." He hrmphs softly, and he looks to the Crown Prince first and then to Dr. Strange, "And then we can get down to proper business."

Thor frowns slightly and he inclines his head, "Aye.. there is business to be had."


Balder's expression grows sympathetic as he sees the play of emotions on Sif's face and he gives her a kind smile before looking back to the little drama being performed on the dais. At Odin's question, he looks to Crystalia to gauge her reaction and hear her answer.


Crystal rises smoothly as Odin bids, only then looking up to the king. "Your majesty, I was born and raised to royal blood. I know well the duties, obligations, and advantages that come with such a thing. Asgard and the Nine Realms are a far greater kingdom than mine, but so too are their gifts." She speaks clearly, voice carrying without rising. "Yes, your majesty." Looking to Thor, she reaches for the prince's hand. "Should you allow it, I accept this suit."


Fandral steps into the hall, a little late to court but as he looks across the room to catch Frigga's eyes and nods, a silent message passing between the Queen and Thor's faithful guard. Then he quietly makes his way through the crowd, not wanting to distract from Crystalia's and Thor's conversations with the All-Father. He does find his place and gives his usual flirtatous smiles, even if his deep blue eyes are more serious this evening than is typical for the dashing man.


"Then I will allow it." Odin sounds almost tired, but there has got to be something behind all that, for certain. "May your devotion to duty benefit both yourself and Asgard and shine as an example." Cough.

Before Thor departs in being 'dismissed', his voice rings out a second time, though now, he stands and takes Crystal's hand as she gives it, and squeezes gently. "I ask that my brother Prince Loki be brought forth. He is the one that bade me return by his silence, and I wish that it be recognized." He's not saying a word, announcing that Loki's been locked up down in the dungeons, but now he's calling out Odin on it. "There is more business that I need to bring to your attention."

From almost content to concerned in 0-1 for the Queen, and she looks as if she will rise, but manages to remain seated. Her gaze moves back to Sif, brows rising, and by silent request of the Queen, the Sword maid is bid to move closer. As a precaution.

Odin stares at Thor for a long moment before he looks beyond, calling out, "Bring out Prince Loki." He wasn't going to leave Loki in lock-up for long, and this suits his plans nicely. Thor was right.. Loki was the cause, after a fashion.

"Bring Amora as well." Now, Odin looks at Thor, stares at him, "So we may discover why and how her exile was lifted without my permission."


A little quirk of a smile is given towards Balder from the Lady Sif as the court is continued, her jaw steeling after a time until she feels the uncanny eyes of Frigga upon her now. She was silent in which she moves, slowly rising from her place to take a slow approach towards the dias. Still, she remained far removed from this gathering, her gaze avoiding most of all present. To say that she was personally embarrased as an understatement even though most weren't in attendance. At least Frigga's silent calls were heard.


The guards had come to him before the request was made by Thor. Perhaps the All-Father had already planned to bring the princeling forth. Loki had time to gather himself, to organize his thoughts, and to render himself presentable. Yet when he does finally appear at the end of the hall with a guard on either side, it's clear that the time had been passed with some measure of difficulty, albeit hardly the worst treatment that had been given in the depths of Asgard's dungeons.

No manacles bind him, and his regalia is not lessened despite his currently embarrassed place in court. Yet as he moves down the path towards the throne of Asgard, his gaze is narrowed and his attention spared only for those upon that dais. He strides forth, hands at his sides and lifting his gaze towards first his brothers… then his mother. And then finally Odin.

It's only that once he's there at the bottom of the first step that his smile comes forth, offered as the first point of defense the trickster god presents to the Court of Asgard.


The redhead in her sylvan attire might catch Doctor Strange's eye, and should she, the faintest dip of her chin acknowledges his presence in the grander mechanisms of the Nine Realms. Pauses last a heartbeat or so as she measures out the nearest path between them after Crystal weds her path to a prince's. A rose petal smile lingers for a moment, giving the rarity of a triumph in the royal court its due, only for that expression to evaporate away beneath the arctic climes of Scarlett's serene mask.

Tranquility purely a lie, a sketched deceit above the palpable tumble of her pulse and coilings of tension at the abyss of her soul. If currents of danger lurk under the surface, her uncanny sensitivity to them might play forth. Fingers curl delicately against her diaphanous green skirt, the fabric so frail against her skin.


Amora the Enchantress had spent one night in the dungeons below the palace and she had spent it miserably. The physical toll of taking in the feedback from an ungrounded spell would be exhausting on a normal day, but combined with the torrent of ritual magic that had run rampant through her system? It was a miracle that she was up and walking. Her body had spent the better part of the night and day expelling the foul curse, and mixed with the unfortunate hangover she had gained from her drinking left her ashen in appearance.

The shackles that wrapped around her wrists muted everything when it came to her magic, cutting her off entirely from the ambient winds of magic that was natural to the Realm Eternal. Not even a simple cantrip allowed for her to fix her hair or dress. She was a criminal after all.

So it was that she looked much more the part of a tragic princess just freed from the confines of a dragon's keep. Though no magic empowered her beauty, it was still an aching sight to anyone with eyes.

Her hair was tousled, golden locks curling in spirals and half undone braids from the previous night. Her jewelry had been lost in the chaos of Scarlett flying her upwards, even her starry coronet. The once beautiful green and gold embroidered gown was rumbled from her having slept in it, just as much as it had been from the wind.

Still, Amora was a lady born and bred, and she walked like it. Her head was held straight and even, despite her less than ideal state. She still met the eyes of the courtiers with her own, ringed in shadows as her eyes were.

Otherwise, her escort of guards received no hassle for their trouble, and she demurely stood, awaiting the call to step forward.


Crystal's hand tighten's on Thor's when Odin speaks of exile lifted prematurely, the only warning the prince gets before she speaks again. "All-Father, I must beg your forgiveness, but I must take responsibility for Amora's presence," she says, chin lowering abashedly without looking away from the king.

"I wished the advice of one familiar with the court, one whose opinions I could trust not to be colored by affection. I asked her to come as my advisor. Had I known how deeply she would be cut, I would have held my tongue. But I would beg some mercy on her behalf, as she would not be here had I not asked." It's a gamble, certainly. Perhaps some ploy? Whichever it is, she plays the part of kind and gentle princess well.


Odin watches the back as Loki enters, his expression holding something of a scowl while Frigga shifts ever so slightly, her eyes brightening around the corners to see her son freed from the prison down below. Thor, too, turns slightly to watch his brother's approach now that he's been called into court, into the presence of their father, the All Father.

"Your brother commends you, Prince Loki, as the one that has caused his return to Asgard. I believe he'd said that it was due to your silence that he came." Odin isn't above sarcasm, not in the least. "Shall we add that to your list of titles? Loki the Silent?"

Crystal's admission, her words in defense of Amora brings Odin's attention around, and there is something of a shift of posture. "Princess Crystalia," and he acknowledges the title as due her by her own merit and introductions. "I understand the desire to learn something more of Asgard, particularly in the suit requested by Thor, but was it not explained to you that she was under exile? Prison was the least she could expect. But from what I am hearing, exile may not be enough." Odin looks to Amora, and his expression is far from kind. "What shall be done with you will be announced soon enough."


Are there mind-readers in court? Lady Sif could picture herself doing a victory lap over a fire with a crudely drawn and trussed scarecrow of Amora burning in it's embers.


Fandral glances at the prisoners when they are brought into the court. Loki gets a review and he relaxes as he notices the prince is not worse for wear from his time in the dungeon. Amora's entrace gets a look of concern. He has never seen her in such a state. It takes a moment for him to school his features back to the light, flirtaous mask that he wears when he's at court after Odin mentions that exile might not be enough.


As his step-brother walks forward, Balder gives him a nod. Acknowledgement? Support? With Odin right over there, he's not going to break protocol so just stays silent and watches. Prisoners. Denizens of Midgard. Thor having a new interest. It would have been nice to have been given a head's up about what was going to happen. But nooo.


A breath is taken, and then Loki settles into his element. It takes but a glance to consider the court of the All-Father. Who is there? Who stands where? Who looks pleased? Who looks less so? It is all gathered in that once-over, and much is gained. An eyebrow quirks as the prince shifts his attention back upwards to the King and his older sons. He looks over Crystal for a moment and his smile shifts a touch knowing.

Green eyes offer a slow blink as if in reflection, but then he lifts his voice to answer in a tone of voice that is reserved, yet manages to carry to the alcoves in the great hall that the lowest of the courtiers must content themselves to occupy, "As fitting as some that have passed through this court, All-Father."

For a moment he considers their surroundings, one eyebrow quirking in reflection before he then perhaps remembers his courtly ettiquette. A lowering of his head is given, one leg sliding back as his arms part from his sides, the bow executed perfectly. He keeps his head bowed as he asks, "How may I further serve Asgard, your majesty?"


Those elusive Asgardian mind-readers might recoil from the deafening maelstrom contained in a Midgardner's lithe figure, clapping their hands to their ears and bemoaning the noise. Scarlett holds to the utmost stillness as any foreign attendant of an otherworldly realm might, absorbing everything and — presumably — comprehending very little. The crash course in the All-father's courtly protocols require the utmost of her attention and ever so slowly her gaze deviates and stitches across the dais, each player stepped out of myth entered to a grand performance immortalized some other night in a long poem. Her pen might yet be the one to do it. In the meantime, they are all noted; Frigga's warming expression, Odin's tone, Crystal and Thor as a unit, Amora's stance, and Loki's descent. Always and always.


"I have some sympathy for those too long from their home." Crystal hangs her head, looking to Amora. "It was my hope that her part in bringing the prince home, along with exemplary behavior, would earn her some forgiveness. It would seem I hung my hopes higher than was prudent," she concludes with a disappointed air, taking a step closer to Thor as though to cede her objections.


Green eyes slice a glance over Thor and Crystal as the Princess speaks on her behalf, and then backs a step away. The look lingers upon the woman, chilled but otherwise lacking any actual emotion, especially when compared to the utter loathing and hatred that settles upon the Crown Prince of Asgard. Oh, if her looks could kill, Thor would be now a more permanent fixture in Hela's realms.

Still, Amora not only keeps her tongue, but her silence as well as her gaze shifts toward the other Prince of Asgard. Her brow hooking upwards in a mild interest as she watched and awaited her own judgement.


Loki's always been better at court than Thor has, and the Thunderer finds himself holding his breath, waiting for a retort that doesn't come. If they had been alone, or they three, four.. things would have been much different. The family is on showcase now, however, and there is such a thing as etiquette.

Loki's question isn't immediately answered by Odin, or rather, Odin isn't given the chance to respond because Thor speaks up first, and not only is he speaking to the All-Father now, but to Frigga, to Baldr, Sif, Fandral.. and any other who will listen. "I bring news gained from Amora and Lady Scarlett," Oops, snagged.. and Thor looks to see where she is 'hiding' before he returns, "The Muspell have had their paths blocked from attaining Midgard, but I have it on authority that the Jotun have found a way there. I would seek—"

Odin sets a hand into the air to cease the words that are rushing from his impetuous son, following it with, "Enough."

To that end, then, the All-Father's eye turns first to Scarlett and he waves his hand to approach, as well as to Dr. Strange. "Speak."

Odin does look at Crystal sympathetically, or as much as he can now that he has to 'fix' the problem. "You do realize that things could have been much, much worse."


For his part, Loki maintains that bow for as long as is seemly until Odin's voice rings out again to bring the other issues to the fore. It's then that he rises back to his full height, though he does not surrender the primary supplicant's place before those thrones and that ominous dais. He simply slips his hands behind the back of his great coat, fingers curling around the wrist of his off hand as he looks on upwards staring unwaveringly at Odin as if paying such dutiful attention.


Fandral winces as Thor pushes forward before Odin can announce what he expects from Loki. At the All-Father's pronouncement of 'Enough' the guard stands up straighter, takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. There are times that Fandral wishes he could speak for his friend, but he's not about to jump into this fray. He's a skilled enough warrior to know when he would lose that fight.


He's been carefully fidgeting with his clothing, making certain that nothing is wrongly-wrinkled or smudged or out of alignment. The Eye of Agamotto glints about his neck in a citrine flash of reflecting ambient light - no magical presence, as the wards of Asgard keep this strictly under control within the throne room. The incoming presence of Loki, whom he knows as Professor Louis, is met with a silent slow rise of one eyebrow. His mental wealth of information on the princeling will never be the same, not after seeing him stand before All-Father Odin. Then follows Lady Amora and she's given a more thoughtful, neutral accounting. Clearly she must have mis-stepped while here - shame.

Thor's rushed speech brings the spotlight clearly onto him. He would have spared a glance towards Scarlett but for the weight of the single blue eye on his form.

With a final shrug of his shoulders that leaves the crimson Cloak of Levitation perfectly balanced on his form, he steps centrally and then approaches the throne to a comfortable distance from the thrones. The fact that Prince Loki stays in his place bothers him not. Strange merely stops off to one side of the princeling, granting him that same acerbic lift of a brow.

He then offers his most courtly bow before standing tall before the royalty of Asgard, looking far more serene outwardly than he feels inwardly. Adrenaline buzzes in his veins.

"All-Father Odin and Beloved Frigga, I greet you in lieu of an unofficial Midgardian visitation to your Realm. I am Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme of Midgard, and it is my duty to discuss these matters with you in light of recent incursions by elemental giants to my own Realm." But first - and Strange allows himself a single sigh before continuing. "My apprentice claims the dimension of Limbo as her kingdom. Within this place, there is an aspect of possibilities, of potential, which has allowed for unsanctioned trespass into Limbo by the Jotuns. I myself dealt with the raid severely." Read as: they're all dead. "My apprentice intended to approach you in regards to this and I thank you for your understanding in that her youthful enthusiasm colored her interactions with you. Her weapon is the manner in which she sundered the wall between our worlds. It is of Limboan origin and a null-draw for magic, hence its ability to cleave into the veil. I am still ascertaining the limits of its abilities. I give you my word that an event of this nature will not happen again without my prior knowledge; in the case of my knowing, you will be quickly forewarned and I ask your tolerance in regards in my discretion as to handling the matter." He gives a nod of respect towards the two royals and the ambient light glints from the winged clasps of his Cloak.

"Your son, Prince Thor, is correct in his statement. With the encroachment of a single Jotun into Midgard, I ask for your council in the matter of dealing with such a thing. I understand that Asgard has a vested interest of the actions of the other Realms."


It was then, that Lady Sif gives a slight lean towards Frigga. Quiet words pass from Lady to Queen as she sturdies herself yet again.


As Odin cuts Thor short, Crystal steps closer to the prince again, aligning herself just in front of his shoulder rather than at his side in a move that on the one hand places her between him and the All-Father, but on the other places her within the circle of Thor's protection. It's a measured move, certainly. But it wouldn't be untrue to say she appreciates the warmth of his presence behind her back.


Carmine braids elaborately intertwined rattle when Scarlett steps forward, requiring minimal vocal and physical effort to part the crowd. Any unaware whom the All-Father addresses may soon guess by the minute tremors, parting the crowd. She walks unhindered beneath the veil of her floor-length skirt, boots a hushed staccato beat. The timing of her stride incidentally gives Strange precedence ahead of her. Approaching Odin and Frigga behind Midgard's sorcerer supreme, behind and betwixt him and Loki, the surreal brightness of her eyes marks the sovereign pair before she makes her obeisance in stately elegance.

Leather faintly creaks and metal chimes in whispering voices to the bend of her knee, the slide of her foot. Hands are held open in near-universal sign of peace, her particularly lethal gift notwithstanding. She dips her head and remains silent until Doctor Strange is quite finished.

Demure, yes, but nothing impedes the clarity of her voice. "Your Majesties. I am known as Scarlett of Midgard." A moment's pause and then she explains quite simply: "As the Prince and the sorcerer supreme said, a jotun came to Midgard. Prince Hrimhari and I encountered it, and fought it. The prince had had no easy time breaking its skin, which was very dense. It looked more a statue than a man, stonelike in its way. A leirjotun, perhaps." She falls into Old Norse, grinding her native English around the foreign, gulped vowels and softened syllables. Leirjotun; clay-giant. Though far from being the slurry muck in the ground, clay fired hard as any rock. "It perished and dissolved into stone. None others followed."


The posturing and positioning in court is everything; how one is perceived vs. how one perceives oneself. Once the audience with the princes are done, both are expected to take their respective places upon the dais once again. That is, if Odin doesn't wish to hear from either of them again until after court is closed. The fact that the brothers are still before him means that the All-Father will still entertain their words, or rather, will listen but is not in any way bound to heed them. Crystal's 'new' place is beside the rise; close to the princes but not with them.

Odin and Frigga watch the approach, the presentation, and as the Lady Sif leans and whispers, the Queen inclines her head in acknowledgment, and she smiles warmly in greeting to the good doctor. "Dr. Strange." Sorceror Supreme? A brow cocks in gentle curiosity, but she speaks no more upon it. "Welcome to Asgard."

Odin's take on the matter is slightly different. "That is welcome news and most troubling," he begins, looking first to Strange and then staring at Loki before he continues, "Though we will be seeking ways to prevent such a visitation from your apprentice. She should be taught that arriving unannounced and in such a manner could be construed as a hostile action. We will not give up our right to deal with such an action in our own proscribed manner." Loki is thus given a task, and a return to his position now that he's been all but dismissed as an applicant.

Odin looks to Crystal, and for a long moment, the single eye lingers. He sees all.

When Scarlett begins to speak, at first Odin is ready to dismiss the child, but continuing, there is more information forthcoming and he nods his head, "Then this will be our path. We will discover this hole, and we will hold counsel with the Jotun to see if this was an exile or if they mean to do battle." Uh huh. As the words come, he's looking at Thor with his decision, and through Thor, his Warriors.. and any other.


At the statement, Loki watches Odin still. Between the two such little is said but sufficient messages have passed. It's then that the youngest prince steps to the side and moves away from the dais, taking up a place at its side but he does not ascend. Instead he holds his place and rests there with his hands still behind his back.


The good doctor's gaze is averted to the side, towards Loki, though his focus rests on some middling point in space as he listens to Scarlett speak from behind him. She speaks true and he does note her positioning with a faint and fleeting furrow of his brows.

The Sorcerer turns his attention back to Odin as the king's response is given and it brings at first another one of the ghosting frowns to his face. With the progress he's made in helping Illyana to realize not only the depths of her powers, but their consequences, he's fairly certain that he will be able to explain to her that once she enters another Realm, she will be shortly beyond his aid. Have no doubt that Strange will be close on her heels and ready to parley.

Regardless of his initial feelings on the matter, Strange offers another respectful nod, first to Frigga: "Thank you, my lady." Then, to Odin: "Rest assured that she has been made aware of the repercussions of her decision. I ask that further discovery of any methods to repelling her weapon be communicated to me. I may have further pertinent information that will aid in the task and am open to sharing my discoveries with Asgard as well." He folds his hands at his waist idly. "Should another incursion upon Midgard occur by the giants, know that I stand ready to cooperate with Asgard in defending my Realm."


The disturbance to the back of the audience chamber centers upon a tall, proud woman. Her twisted platinum headdress above flowing black hair marks her exalted place as sure as the arrogant lift of her chin. Karnilla, Queen of Nornheim, advances without hesitation and those who fail to move might well be stepped on. "Though Amora calls herself the sorceress supreme of Asgard, she be mine apprentice. I offered her my tutelage — an incomparable gift, All-Father — which she hath duly abused, again and anon."

Enchantments weave and twine around her, giving animation to the long violet cloak that displays a different image to each and all who look upon it. "Trust not that wayward woman who dareth show her face in these exalted halls. She who ought to hide, and absolve her folly by letting us forget her. Nornheim grieves this lapse. The Norn Queen shall offer this, on the occasion of thine family's happy reunion."

Karnilla lifts her imperious chin, cold eyes briefly flicking towards the bedraggled woman weakened by illness and grief, hair tangled and garments askew. "See for thyselves her shame this day. But none may besmirch the reputation of the Queen of the Norns without consequence. She doth not atone. Her pride is great, for thy mercy hath not bowed her head. She hath greater devotion to vengeance than wisdom, all for a love unrequited. Still, perhaps 'tis hope yet. All-Father, grant her once more unto mine care. Cast off thy trouble — for only we canst curb her maledictions. Her scorned heart cannot prevail against sense and poison the Nine Realms thus."


The disturbance was noted by Sif, in proper royal garb she may be, her hand does stray to her side to grasp the hilt of her sword. But the reveal of the Queen of the Norns was something left to be desired, yet dutifully, her hand was stayed only in slight, her gaze cast towards Balder, Thor, Fandral, then the All-Father lastly before she stays her hand.


Crystal's part in this play is done for now. Yet still, there is sympathy in her features for Amora. For one moment of temper, for the overflow of a thousand lifetimes of unrequited love, here she stands to be punished again. She glances to Thor, as much apology in her eyes as anything else, but stays her tongue.


Odin looks to Thor and Crystalia for a long moment and looks away again to speak with Dr. Strange. In that moment, Thor leans forward a touch and whispers in her ear before he moves off to the side, and he takes the one step, two steps up to stand, making note that Loki does not stand where he used to. He's off the platform..

It hasn't escaped Odin's notice where Loki goes to stand, nor Frigga's, and while Odin keeps his composure, Frigga's expression sets to a brief frown. (She'll be speaking to her son later about baiting his father!) The All-Father instead addresses it, "Loki will be looking into the matter. Should more information be required, it will be him that will ask." His tones sound as if should anyone else inquire, it was not sent from Asgard and should be treated as such. "We thank you for your words, Dr. Strange. Midgard holds a special place for us, and while we may not take an active role in the Realm's growth, that does not mean we do not seek its safety from the other Realms that may seek to do it harm, unknown to them."

There are very few things that cause the All-Father to rise from his throne, but the appearance of the Queen of Nornheim is one of those things. His gaze moves fully out across the expanse of the Hall and those within begin to whisper about the meaning of the appearance here on Asgard. Frigga remains in her seat, content that Sif has taken the fore on this one. The Queen is a fighter in her own right, certainly, but there are some things that are best left to the youth.

"I would see her punished suitably for the crime against Asgard." The ravens know even if Odin doesn't know the extent of the crime. "If she comes back to us and seeks to lay bare this land, know that in my fury, I will respond with less kindness."

Now, the All-Father looks to Amora, his expression set, "You will go with the Norns, and you will forget all that you were here, to us. You will go as a student and you will learn." As Odin speaks, there is something of a heaviness of magic in the room, only felt by those who may be sensitive. "What you were allowed here was apparently too much.. so should you return to Asgard, you will be as an apprentice until such time as you prove yourself worthy of such a gift." Mind, Karnilla can allow any level .. on Nornheim. But Asgard?

With that, Odin turns to Frigga and puts a hand out in gesture for the Queen to rise and take it. They are done for the evening, and the pair depart.


Fandral glances back at Sif and nods, acknowledging the disruption but not moving in to put a stop to it. He just gets a little more tense as Karnilla speaks, requesting that Amora be given back. He looks to All-Father to see what his wishes are, and is relieved that Amora is taken away, even if it's in disgrace. There are worse things that could be done to the Enchantress.


As the court continues on Amora remains silent and stands rigidly tall; unmoving outside of glare she had aimed Thors way during Crystal's words. As the Doctor and Scarlett speak in turn she pays heed, noting the reactions and placings of each of the courtly players before her.

Then Karnilla, her old master and most hated teacher, Queen of the Norns, arrives and her gaze snaps from her to the throne. She attempts to throw herself onto the ground in at her knees, her hands clenched tightly together before her. If the guards so much as allow it, even if they do not, she speaks. Her features drawn white and her eyes wide as she put herself at the All-father's 'mercy.

"I beg of your majesty, let me speak, so I might defend myself in this court, even if I cannot help but feel as if it will be for naught." Her eyes remained angled low and her voice was soft, but clear enough to carry. Her speech was hurried. She would continue to speak, permission granted or not, unless otherwise halted.

"I returned in the Prince's company as was bidden by the Princess, aye, but also as was believed that the terms of my exile had been met as was commanded to me by your majesty! The Prince's eye had been turned from the plain Midgardian to a suitable woman. Whom you have even now approved to court. And conditional upon the Prince's return to the Realm Eternal, which he has."

Amora paused and her throat became dry as she lifted her gaze toward Thor and Crystal, her breathing hard as she felt the entirety of her world narrow into that one moment. Her head light and spinning. "I have done what has been commanded of me. I made mistakes, aye, but how can I be faulted for not having the power to read what the Crown Prince knows or does not? I took insult, and let my passions rule me, aye. Who here has not? For insult was flung at an already broken heart when I had naught to guard against it. I held my tongue, I sketched the runes I am accused of.. Aye.. but they were never intended to take shape. They were the sketchings of an enraged, drunken and lovesick woman." Her voice cracks at then and she shakes visibly. Her composure lost.

A shaky exhale followed and she turned her gaze to those nearest to her. "I /never/ intended harm to Asgard or her heir, though he used me as ill as one kicks a wounded curr!" Her voice had risen in pitch and in volume as panic lanced through her the longer that Karnilla stood within her line of sight.


It's been a long time since Crystal stood beside a throne at court. But in truth, her place now is not so different from where she stood in Attilan. And she has a bit more patience now than she did as a child, which helps with the fidgeting. As Amora makes her pleas, she looks between Odin and the Enchantress, fingers knotting in her skirts. Still, she would try to speak in the other woman's defense if she could.


Whatever effigy of Amora that Sif had playing throughout her mind had gone within that instant. Her own features soften, and turn away from those gathered at the dias to hide the burn that rested within those cool blue eyes. She blinks once, biting back that itch to join Amora in that slight, sorrowful panic, her chin soon turned and held high for all to see yet for once? There was compassion. True compassion. Which meant that Sif understood.

Though eons of dislike couldn't undo what happened in that moment, Sif breaks stance to approach the imprisoned woman with a slight shake of her head and risk of arrest if it was warranted. But she understood. For whatever motion she takes, Sif would deny that it would have happened so easily. She'd claim enchanted. Enthralled. Felled by mead and ale from such a torrid conversation that hath taken place that very morrow. Sif would not admit that she had done it out of the kindness or possibly the shared emotion of broken hearts. With that said, arms encircle Amora. However brief it may look, however long it may seem, and with a parting kiss to the Lady's cheek, quiet words were whispered and soon, Sif leaves the court.

Arrest her if thy will. She could not bear to stand there any longer. Twas time for her to depart.


Strange has stepped to one side, no longer centrally located before the throne. The appearance of Karnilla sends a shiver down his spine - despite his powers being tampered (and held in check regardless of warding), her magical aura is electrifying to his senses. A quick glance up to the throned pair of Asgardian royalty shows that they aren't terribly concerned and ergo, his concerns are checked.

He's not certain that the All-Father and Frigga note his half-bow of silent acknowledgment, but no matter - Amora has taken to pleading her case. He steps very quietly back to his pair of guards, giving them both brief nods. His eyes flicker from the distraught Enchantress to Scarlett and then beyond, to the distant form of Loki. He'll have to be certain to speak with the princeling in regards to keeping Illyana from entering Asgard once again. Joy.

He will admit selfish interest in seeing how Amora's fate plays out, simply for the relief in knowing where her presence will exist; ergo, he does not immediately ask to be escorted back to the Bifrost, but rather stands silent sentinel between his escorts. The woman's fearful tears are hard to witness and his heart holds pity for her.


The Norn Queen halts before the dais and does not bow, nor lower herself in any abasement. She does, however, give Odin the deference due his rank in accordance to hers, the inclination of her head and stately words controlled to very old forms indeed. "We are in accord upon her fate. Does mine apprentice raise a threat against Asgard, I shall add mine strength to thine to curb her abuses." She gazes then to Frigga, a faint smile punctuating her lips. It fades before reaching Thor. Crystalia barely earns her acknowledgment. Baldr she spares to the last, curiosity flaring for a moment at this last son of Odin.

And it passes when she resumes her declaration. "Take heed. Mine tidings be spread throughout the kingdom. No harm shall be done to my apprentice so long as she doth serve this term faithfully. Does she forsake the hospitality and sanctuary of my realm, Amora the Apprentice then forfeits my protection and no longer shall I stay thine justice, All-Father."

Long fingers tapping against her hip, Karnilla casts a look askance upon the golden-haired Enchantress. Any love lost between those two probably might fill an ocean and drown every last volcanic vent in Muspelheim. "I cannot suffer thy abuses upon Nornheimian magic or mine people. Thine foul magicks done in insult, girl, show a keen and abiding lack of judgment that even the merest scrap of an initiate knows. Speak of intent? Speak of acts and deeds, what has been done in a fit of rage. Thou wouldst command the mystic forces and forbidden magics with all the self-control of a tempest, a forest fire. We permit those naught to run amok, why should thou be given such allowances with lives in the balance? I bid thee, Amora, be humbled and learn this lesson soon, lest you tear thine fate and reputation apart. Thine defiance burns too fierce in thine breast. It consumes thine heart."


In the wars of gods, mankind wisely stays well and firmly out of the way. Better not to be mistaken as a short-term token or a pawn in some cosmic game of mahjohngg or go. Scarlett is swift enough to bow her head or remain dipped, the strain scarce felt physically next to the gravity of the moment. She remains very much in the shadows before the dais, withdrawing only when dismissed by Odin. She withdraws behind Strange, content to be nigh to concealed against taller shadows and worse. Impervious to the desire to speak, the best she can do is play witness in lieu of chronicler. Tears she is not inured to, nor swimming in the suffering of Amora. Hands curl into her skirt, and were that not fabric, stone fragments and dust might spill through her fingers.

"Doctor." A whisper, truly. "Permit me but a few moments of your time, if you could grant me that." Because for all her instincts might scream run, there are formalities to be observed. Or she's a total coward and this is how she runs away.


Thor stands now as his father and mother depart. Odin shows little pity; he agrees with Karnilla in that defiance burns brightly. To have one such flame extinguished means that he can work with the others in his own court, slowly but surely. As the All-Father and the Queen leave, Thor steps forward and looks out on the audience, watching Amora's desperate plea. He is torn, he is.. but he's also very aware how words can be twisted; Asgardians are quite good at that, and those with emotional magic even better. He may seem harsh, and unfeeling, but he isn't. This is much better than any other punishment that Odin could have meted out, even if it doesn't seem it.

Sif's actions, however, that surprises Thor… a great deal. Though, after the 'discussion' he'd had with the Sword maid, maybe he shouldn't be so surprised.

Thor holds out a hand to Crystal in anticipation of departure as well as whisper to Loki and a gesture towards Baldr. All the better to speak later; the siblings need a chance to chat to determine their next and best course of action. Scarlett won't be left to her own devices and hanging..


When Sif drew Amora to rise again from her kneel, Amora could not help the dampness that rose in her eyes and the tightness in her throat. In Sif's embrace, the warrior maiden would feel Amora's trembling, the quickened, fear struck breathing that left her lungs like a spooked horse. She shuddered as Sif whispered in her ear and departed. As Karnilla spoke, as Odin the All-father and the Queen departed, followed by Thor and the others, Amora's eyes rounded and she twisted round—desperation making her movements sharp and awkward.

But there were none that offered her an escape or a way out. Her head shook slowly, and she made a choked sound as she tried to back away from Karnilla's person; backing up until she crashed into the guards that shadowed her form. "N-No..no, no.." She gritted out between clenched teeth, now openly struggling against the hold the shackles held on her wrists.


Fandral readies himself to follow Thor out of court, giving a respectful nod to Loki and Balder as he stands near the couple, acting as their personal guard. He doesn't betray any of his feelings at the moment, other than to let his gaze linger over Amora who is being torn away in by her old teacher. He does not envy what she will face in the coming days. However, there is little a man in his position can do.


"Would that I was able to do so, Miss Scarlett. I am merely a diplomat here and my current task is complete. Come to the Sanctum," is his equally-quiet reply to the young woman behind him. "There, we may speak freely. It is as warded as this throne room."

Strange's jaw tightens to show shadows beneath his cheekbones as he watches Amora struggle. He does not agree with the suffering before him; a good doctor never does. But he is stymied utterly in this place. "The Sanctum," he repeats to Scarlett, before his two escorts begin to walk. He is expected to follow and in light of recent events, he follows, but at a more brisk pace. The crimson Cloak furls out slightly behind him and the guards must quicken their steps to stay beside him. He must get back to Midgard, to the Sanctorum, and closet himself away to think over what he's seen today.


Crystal takes Thor's hand, though she's slow to follow, pained as she watches Amora. Claiming responsibility for the other woman's presence was more than just a ploy, it seems. "Thor…" But she doesn't share her thoughts now, not before the whole court. Instead, her hand tightens on his arm as she lowers her gaze, forcing herself to patience.


Balder bows his head to the King and Queen as they pass then leaves the dais, moving toward Amora. "Which of us has not acted out of passion at some point and then regretted it?" he asks, his words perhaps intended for Karnilla though he doesn't look at her. "Take the lesson to heart, Amora and learn as you are bid. And then you'll be welcomed back once more." Catching Thor's motion, he nods to his brother and takes a moment to look more closely at the one who might one day be his wife. Strange times.

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