1963-10-09 - Halls of the Storm King
Summary: Those sinkholes appearing in Storm King State Park draw the attention of the Thunderer and his court.
Related: Undermining the Economy
Theme Song: - In the Hall of the Mountain King
louis hrimhari anduvin crystal thor sif 

Note: Scene run by Rogue.


Storm King State Park: Yes, that's its real name.

Nature has outdone herself in a display of autumnal glory. Hardwood forests burnished in a patchwork of scarlet and copper cloak the rugged slopes of Storm King Mountain. Rough highlands rise and fall in successive rock waves, featuring steep paths and sudden dropoffs, courtiers arranged into rank and file before their liege. An impressive monarch it is, a harsh granite promontory of the Catskills Range overlooking the placid, broad waters of the Hudson River.

Rare for this rural area, few signs of human development encroach upon the park. Pullouts from state highway 9W lead into a primal world of glaciated boulders and tumbling streams, treacherous from the recent rainfalls. Flaming maples and golden oaks diminish direct views over the Hudson Valley, and the game paths are, at best, challenging to negotiate.


An hour of twilight leaves the burning eye of the sun dipping in the west, an hour at most off touching the rugged contours of the Catskills in bloody red. Autumn's honeyed golden light renders a small hamlet on the west bank of the Hudson River charming and almost bucolic. Sleepy storefronts display a row of 'Closed' signs in the windows in honour of the Lord's day of rest, and what few businesses remain open cater to entertainment and culinary purposes. One paved road, announced by "State Route 9" signs pounded along the way, weaves south in a mirror of the river's shoreline.

Vails Gate doesn't warrant their august personages under any other circumstances than a warning.

That warning comes by way of the Wolf Prince's subjects, conveyed back to Hrimhari at speed. One such wolf howled a tale of sinkholes torn into the earth as they have been all over Westchester County. Not one or two. Many. Tangled scents that spoke to more than a single scout or even a small party, and the reek of clay and stone will fill that poor lupine's nose for many a night and day. Previously the jotnar were confined to the east side of the river, but something has attracted giants west.

The concentration is greatest in a place the mortals call Storm King State Park. Vails Gate is, understandably, the gateway towards that park, and the eponymous Storm King Mountain rises in the distance under a peaceful blanket of oaks and maples in full flame. What that forest conceals is, according to a snarling wolf, an abomination.


The Prince's howl travels far.

Across Realms.

And now he rests on his haunches — a large, silver-grey wolf — observing the park from the gates. Two umber-furred wolves flank him, equally alert. Hrimhari turns to the larger of the two and lift his lupine head.

<Rowanoak,> says he in the language of wolves. <Have the warwolves gather before us. Help comes. Await this one's signal.>

The darker wolf nods, and lopes away.

<Sleeps-in-Hollows,> Hrimhari says to the other, leaner companion. <Divide your pack in twain. Have the runners circle around to the sides. Share all that you see and hear.>

<As this one's prince commands,> the female replies — and vanishes. <Jotuns…> Hrimhari growls, very darkly.


A howl. It's a sound that reverberates, sending its message through air, through the aether to be picked up and translated by those who understand both its message and its portent. There is no need to call for his chariot; the large, virtually immortal goats know and cross the Bridge to carry their master, the Prince.

Now, a goat-driven chariot is a sight in the city, which is why it's mounted just outside of city limits, and with family and friends aboard, the goats rise into the skies, bringing their charges towards the howls of the dangerous predators rather than away, Thor at the reins.

Upon arrival, the goats tramp the dirt as they wait for the weight of the chariot behind them to lessen before… they eat. Lots of grass! Bark! Leaves! Dressed in armor as per the warning, Mjolnir is at his side, clasped at his waist. He'd seen the holes from the air, and there are no good words for what he'd viewed. "I would that Balder was here to bear witness to this before the battle."


It is a benefit to have horses stabled in the back yard. They can sense predators. By the whinny of their cries and the constant, upturn of their hooves to kick at the wood, they wanted out. And all the while the hunt and search was afoot, Sif remained. One hand occasionally stroking along a snout once the animal allows it to get near, and one with a chuck of a hay bale to keep the steeds quiet.

But that howl; a denmother knows the howl of one of her own. Hrimhari calls out and Sif undoubtably answers. Armored down. Swords and shield at the ready, one planted upon her back as the one gifted to her by the All-Father is extended.

In the middle of the corral is she; the blade glinting in the light. Swung to the right, rolled upon the back of her hand. Hilt captured, swung to the left. It was a quiet whoosh upon the air, muttered words of an incantation that need not be spoken, the Berserkers call. For no one answers the call of the wolf-prince without the eye aglow of red.

Another swing, backwards. A turn and a toss of the sword that was caught upside down, and blade slammed into the grass. The air was thick, suffocating. And with a pop of a succor she arrives just in time for Thor to announce his wish of his brother there to witness.

"..And the Warriors Three." Sif adds, drawing up from her kneel and a sharp yank given to the sword that transposed itself into the earth.


The way of Loki is not quite as blatant. It is merely to hear the cry of warning, to pour a few drams of water onto the surface of a silver platter, and to scry the location of his grandson when he uttered hi warning. The Catskills, brilliant in their flaming plumage, offering their warm greeting of Autumn's arrival. It will serve as a suitable place to bring the Asgardians to task and to stand against this intrusion.

There's a flare of light around him, the first one to be fair, it illuminates the trickster in his study and when it fades it leaves him garbed in the armor of Asgard. Silver and green and black are his colors, the silver the plate that hugs his arms and legs and girds his chest. On his back is a long thin blade in its red leather sheath. He holds out a hand and there's another flare of light.

That when it fades it leaves him having appeared right beside Thor, standing there to take his place against what comes. A nod of greeting is given even as Loki claps the larger man on the shoulder, then casually kneels to work at the knot of a lace on his boot, crinkling his nose as he murmurs. "So are there mortals nearby?" He tightens the small cord, picks up a small handful of the dirt that they stand on and runs it through his fingers, as if getting a feel for the battlefield.


A chariot of goats is not the way Crystal is accustomed to travel. But she was with the prince when the call came, and that's how he was traveling. It seemed…worth trying. No armor for her, but the close-fitting pants and leather jacket are at least a far cry from her usual dresses. No weapons, either. Then again, Crystal is her own weapon.

Stepping down from the chariot, she turns in a slow circle, getting a good look at the area. "This is a fairly rural area," she answers Loki's question. "But this time of year, it's possible there could be people going for a hike or taking in the sight of the leaves."


There is a certain tension in the air; it is not like the Bifrost, the great bridge between realms, striking down from the sky to make its crossing. Its something else: something more subtle, and in truth, much less effective. Yet, it is a crossing. Not far from the Gate, one moment there is air, and a shimmering like the waves of heat, and then there is … something there. It is man-shaped, a couple inches over six feet, and broad shouldered. It looks to be a man, a man with short brown hair, in fine but thick leather clothing, but the form of the man shimmers.

It is like light is trying to escape from him, and as the light shines out from places, what lies beneath the shifting light shows through: a Construct, dull metal in motion constant motion as gears and unfathomable mechanisms move, and all of it covered in glowing runes. But the light is contained, and within several moments after the transition, it is just a man again. The man bears a large sword, and upon this sword are lines of runes that glow in their own right, but more faintly. The sword is never still, as its edges split apart and bend back against itself, folding the edges of the blade in on itself with each passing moment.

Anduvin Eitrison was not precisely upon the guest list to this little foray, and he is not well known outside of Nidavellir— where he is decidedly not over six feet tall— so what brings him here and now to this place is perhaps a mystery in its own right. If not, perhaps, the more pressing one.


Voracious goats make quick work of autumn's blessings, chewing holes into the foliage, devouring ferns. They expose gaping holes in the tangled undergrowth to reveal broken branches and flattened logs, sections of maple or dense-grained oak that should not crumble into dust for many winters yet. Churned up earth pocked by pebbles and puddles soon becomes a mucky slurry for that insatiable pair trying to beggar the state out of vegetative house and home. The stones running through Loki's fingers are strange, curiously dense, unlike the paler dirt about. They do, however, resemble the ones revealed by the damn goats tramping everything to death.

If it is any consolation, no mortals seem to be up to tramping about in the woods before dark. There aren't even paths, as such; everything here belongs to the wilderness, meaning broad-shouldered warriors have plenty to catch on, and dense vegetation to hack their way through.

Moldering leaves make for a hazard to even quick-footed Sif, full of potential to slip and crash down steep slopes. Wolves, however, disappear into the undergrowth. The silence accompanying their habits soon enough erupt into a lupine chorus, full of rumbling resonances and confirmations or denials.

<Stinky hole here.>
<Not over here here. I hunt!>
<The foul hole is deep, full of broken rock like teeth. It stinks!>
<This one is worse!>


ROLL: Anduvin +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 15


As family, old friends and new arrive, Hrimhari turns about… and rises up onto his hind legs. Seamlessly, the wolf transforms into a be-furred man — lupine head, silver tail — and then approaches the newcomers.

He kneels before Thor's chariot, and rises a few moments later. "This one is pleased to see thee, liege and uncle." Turning aside, he greets Loki and Sif with a raised chin and snout — and a grim smile.

"Grandsire — Denmother." He narrows his eyes at Crystal (and twitches an ear at Thor). He nods to her afterward, and also to Anduvin. Proper introductions can wait. "This one has encountered sinkholes closer to the new city of York — and now here, in greater numbers. 'Tis the Clay Two-Legs… again."

The Wolf-Prince scowls.

"This one hates the Clay Two-Legs." He would say more, but a warning howl of one of his wolves draws the prince's attention away. The howl is followed up by a strangled yelp and then — nothing. "No…"

In a heartbeat, Hrimhari is gone — in the direction of the undergrowth that appears to be coming alive as the very earth assaults those here.


As Thor steps down, he offers a hand to Crystal for the step; a strange gesture when it appears that there may be some violence wrought before long. It's courtesy, tradition, and there is no reason to leave such behind.

"And the Warriors Three," Thor agrees, twisting around as Sif makes her appearance. There really isn't a need; the voice is as familiar to him as, well.. his family. "They will be missed, and once we are finished here, they will have wished whatever it was that kept them did not have such a hold upon them," is rumbled, the tones holding that touch of amusement, even in the face of what could be certain battle. Or rather, because of it.

"There is no hope now for whatever lies before us." Thor claps a hand upon Loki's shoulder in response, "Brother. If there are any mortals, I shall send the chariot and have them taken to safety. They already stand in disquiet. Whatever it is unnerves them because of their scent." And if goats don't like a stench? Something is going on.

Magic in the air, in the wind; that is not Thor's domain in the least. The flickering of motion of man to construct to man.. that brings Thor's hand to his side, blue eyes keen upon the sight before he looks to where the goats have made light work. He steps across and looks, crouching down, running his fingers across. When the wolves begin their chorus, Thor looks back and over his shoulder at their Prince, brows rising. "They did not find a bone hidden, I am certain of that."

Hrimhari's approach and obeisance gains the befurred prince a nodded acknowledgment, and with the news, a scowl appears. Thor looks to Crystal to offer up explanation, "Jotun. Giants. There are many kinds, and these are made of stone and clay, rocks and dirt. One of the first formed when the Nine Realms were created."

The yelp, and the rush of Hrim as he makes his dash away brings Thor's voice up to break the chorus even as he strides forward, keeping a watchful eye, "Bring your wolves back! Formation!"


Loki. Crystal. Thor. And a newcomer to the call of the wolf. Lady Sif does not acknowledge them outright. Neither does she listen for Hrimhari nor his explanations. It was almost as if she were blind to the neutral bodies that stood before her, her approach was a quiet one that stood before the outcropping. Listening. Fading out the rapid, thunderous beat of her heart. Allowing the veins to pump that adrenaline through.. ready for a fight even though that none were present as the hand lifts behind herself to grasp the hilt of her second placed blade to draw with a kiss of metal upon metal.

And she breathes.
Then turns her ear.
She hears nothing but the pitter patter of wolf-feet that scramble..
..scramble and snuffed out with a yelp.

The silence from the Goddess of War knows no bounds. For as Hrimhari dashes into the thick cropping of life, Sif aim's to follow Little Paw, no rhyme nor reason for the way that she begins to hack and slash, her arms, limbs, weapons, extensions of herself begin to cut and shore the wild in front of her to create a path that was not previously visible.

No words, but for those who know of her? Stay back. For even the blood of her own could fuel her fury, and it was blind.


Gaining his feet fully, Loki takes up a place beside Thor and a step behind. Though his manner is a touch distracted, as if something on the air didn't sit well with him, that there was something displeasing that wasn't quite reaching his full awareness. Yet for now it is not so important, perhaps something for later.

His hand reaches to his back and the silvered blade is drawn with a resonant ring of metal gliding across metal. Loki looks across the great wilderness and rubs at the stubble upon his jaw. He offers at the least, "If naught else… this is a lovely place for a battle." His lip curls wryly for a moment, then the smile is gone.


ROLL: Sif +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 10


Crystal is in position to see the unfamiliar man appear through the portal, though she stays her hand. It seems Asgardians are in the habit of popping in and out of creation, and no one else is trying stab him, so he's probably just another warrior. Sif gets a nod as well, though Thor's explanation earns a flicker of a smile. "Made of earth?" she replies, holding out a hand to let some of her consciousness sink into the soil around them, getting the flavor of it. "It should be interesting to see how they stand up against my powers, in that case."

Hrimhari and Sif both take off, and Crystal turns to look after them, trying to track their feet across the earth. She can only sense them for long enough to tell which direction they've gone, though, before they're swift out of range. "Should we be following them?"


ROLL: Rogue +rolls 1d4 for a result of: 2


ROLL: Hrimhari +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 85


ROLL: Rogue +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 84


Taking in his surroundings, Anduvin is surprised to see the Asgardians: for while he is not well known outside of dwarfholme (being the youngest price and one who has spent most of his life at his craft), it can not be said that the likes of the crown prince of Asgard, let alone his brother, are not figures of note. He approaches, all signs of him not being just a guy with a (admittedly magic) sword gone.

"Thor Odinson." greets Anduvin in a grave, serious tone. Though he did approach to speak, he didn't approach all that *close*, either. "I am Anduvin Eitrison, and come hunting those who stole in the night from Nidavellir and took their plunder to Midgard." He pauses, and glances pointedly over at the stones upon the ground, "Something deep in the earth spews forth the rock at force. I don't suppose it is a coincidence I come and find your company here: do our people share an enemy once more, Crown Prince of Asgard?"


The dense forest of the state park allows no sense of direction beyond the crudest: howls from the wolves, interrupted at one point by a vicious snarl. Then the other comes in.

Every leaf in a mile radius shudders to a breeze that isn't there. The less perceptive might not even notice the modest tremor. Pebbles tumble off a few of those piles not disturbed by Thor's great goats. It flows underfoot, runs up the boots, and probably gives Anduvin distinct indigestion for a moment or two. A few birds take to the wing, flapping away into the sky. And then more, a flailing of feathers streaming away in every direction but southeast to the river. One of the goats throws its head up and slams a hoof into the ground, the other gnashes and dances. Hrimhari's sharper senses catch the auditory cues, a low, long groan — or a shout — signaled for well on thirty seconds without fail.

Not long after, the tremors begin in earnest. Micro-earthquakes sprout like mushrooms after rain from here and there. In places trees shake, in others they simply sink. On the cliffs, topsoil starts to puff away in clouds. More immediately to the remaining quartet, a 20-foot tall maple stripped of its lower branches comes hurtling down from the mountainside. Roots and all, it goes flying on a rather nasty trajectory straight for Crystal. Here's to Thor not being too wrapped up in his diplomacy and Loki in tasting waves of magic assaulting him from every point on the compass.

Rumblings shake the ground where Hrimhari and Sif run, violent enough they might slip and skid over the slopes. The footing beneath the war goddess suddenly ceases to be footing as a primordial scent wrenches the air, and the earth begins to run backwards under her in a violent churn. Not just her, everything else around her in a many-yard circumference. She might hear the low, basso chanting through the crashing rocks, the groaning soil, and she might not when she falls through the eye of the maelstrom. Several bushes and saplings go falling in after her, torn to shreds by the force of the downward earthen whirlpool.


The Clay Giants have made their move.

As the whirlpool of earth, rock and underbrush forms beneath Sif and Hrimhari, the prince twists mid-air — his form shifting seamlessly once more. A venomous snarl erupts from his throat, only to cease abruptly as the ground swallows him up…

The son of Fenris lands upon his hands and knees in a tunnel beneath the ground, barely leaping to the side in time to avoid a tree and some boulders from landing upon his head. Bruised, battered and FURIOUS, he backs away, searching for Sif.

He is, however, greeted by three of his wolves, who had suffered the same fate.

Topside, a section of the rocky ridge eerily comes to life, first jerking its head free, then arms and legs amid a shower of rock and stone. The clay jotun squats — bending its knees acutely — and all but VOMITS a torrent of mud… toward Anduvin.


Thor knows Sif, knows her all too well. The moment the heat of battle flares, it is a toss-up.. will she keep her head and remain, or is it that emotional pull that brings her forward, her anger and drive all tied in to that rage that he, too, so intimately knows. His, at the least, is tempered by those who recognize it and it isn't all pervasive that he cannot listen to reason. To see his Sword Maid so taken, however, the price sighs; knowing now that that wildcard is now in play.

"Aye, brother," and Thor looks to the lay of the land; the potentials, and he looks to his goats once again. Their disquiet does concern him, "It is a good place. Open, with rises from which we may judge.."

Thor's hammer is out, held loosely at his right side. Not quite a definitive sound as the mark of metal upon sheathe, but in hand, it is impressive all the same. "Aye, Crystal.. of earth, clay, stone and rock." Brows rise before he barks a laugh, "I had not forgotten earlier." Though, blue eyes pass and look to the distance, "No.. not yet. To follow them would be to pass those other holes. If they rise, we are surrounded.."

The explanation is put on hold, however, as Anduvin appears and approaches. Thor's head rises, and he straightens, "Well met, Master Eitrison. Aye, and you have it right upon the first. They have found their path here; a scout a month or so back, as the mortals reckon. Now, it is time to close their d—"

Thor doesn't have time to continue, however, as the attack comes -and- the ground swallows up both the Wolf Prince AND his Sif. But, there are problems topside as well, as he considered, and the ground shakes. Whether or not Crystal is ready for it, the moment the tree comes at her, Thor has his hammer in the air, and it is thrown to collide with the great tree to send it aside to land harmlessly behind them before it returns to his hand. "We cannot remain here."

"Show yourselves, Jotun! I demand it!" Of course.. there it is.. that clay giant that does exactly what Thor demanded..


Underground… Another of the boulders bouncing down through the whirling gyre of soil, vegetation, and random Asgardians rolls to a halt. When is a stone not a stone? Shifting fissures crack the surface of the schist, opening to allow grinding limbs purchased on the tunnel floor. It halves in breadth but doubles in size, and throws a look over its shoulder at the fallen werewolf and huntress. Pits of black smolder in its face, eyes glinting like onyx stars, and then the leirjotun bolts at a pace that might seem entirely unfair. Massively hewn thighs and calves give the giant an advantage, and the fact it plunges ahead into the darkness unerringly. Cave black, they call it. Terrible if someone can't *see* without actual light.


ROLL: Rogue +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 6


ROLL: Crystal +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 41


ROLL: Thor +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 13


Just as the earth seems to rebel, Loki's attention snaps full on the matter at hand. He still holds some of the dust and dirt in his hand, even as Anduvin advances. His lip curls wry as they're addressed by the Dwarven man, though his stature is anything but. A glance is given to the two of them and he simply offers the commentary. "The threads of fate, brother. Clearly he shall be needed."

Yet then the madness kicks off, the world shakes, and Loki brings his hand up and throws that handful of dirt forth back up the side of the mountain even as the blade in his hand whirls around and then /slams/ down point first into the ground. There's a flash of arcane energy that flares around him and those nearby, subtle mostly invisible buttresses spring forth to offer what shelter they can from falling debris, and those near to Loki might very well find that their feet have a touch of that mystical glow now as well.


Wildcard; true to form. The blade rises and lowers in a whip of a slash, hacking down a thickened vine that seemingly pulses as it's sheared towards the ground. Wait. It's pulsing? Sif takes a step, her head tilted, her eyes near vacant until the give of the earth is felt and she's left scrambling forward.. into nothing.

The ground leaves her feet, but her reactions were quick enough to plant into the side of the sinkhole as she falls. But her blades were sharp, the weight of her body dragged down by sheer gravity, a think branch knocking one hand free from the hilt of the sword as the other soon follows to shield her head from the fall of a boulder that presses her descent further.

It was a tumble; a bounce off the far wall, a smack of the hand with a hard hit that sends bones shattering and rocks crumbling to form tiny bits of debris, a hailing rain from the floor beneath. There was a scream, an outward sharp vine ripping up her back and hanging her there, until another twisted branch falls in quick succession.

Down, down into the rabbit hole she falls, but there was no Alice. The rage picks up quick, adrenaline pumps, and the smacking crack has her hitting the ground with a heavy thud and two bounces to her person. For a moment, one thinks that she wouldn't move. But in the sheer darkness, one only has the few senses left, such as sound. For the further cracking above tells her that something was coming fast, and with a quick push up upon both hands, one broken and one not, a knee is pressed to the ground and she gives a fateful leap, tuck and roll out of the way of a fallen oak. Heavy.

Still, no words. Not a sound from her lips as that hand extends and trembles, bones cracking and re-knitting together in a sickening display that only an Asgardian could pull off. The heavy thud of the rockbeast shakes the ground beneath her. Sif only has her hand. And a shield. That was reached for and planted within the dirt, dragged and turn to draw a proverbial line within. Those eyes. Sif stares into them as she rises to her feet, her shoulder hunching up with a quick snap, crackle and pop as she grins a grin most threatening. It's time to play.


Topside… One smashed tree goes flying through the air, maple chips flying off Mjolnir's face. Then follow a number more from roughly the same direction, southeast on the mountain. Trees come flying, smashing a rather inaccurate line ahead of the quartet. Pines and oaks are hurled from the sky and come slamming down around Thor in particular, though Loki and Crystal manage to keep out of their way mostly.
Then there's that boulder flying at the Crown Prince, a glacial erratic glittering gold in the sky. Look, Anduvin, a huge chunk of pyrite! At least for a moment, it looks that way.


Earth, air, fire, water, even magnetism and electricity. Crystal can call on all of them. But none of them are particularly effective against an incoming tree. Living materials are outside of her control. So this time, this moment, she trusts Thor to take care of it.

Instead, she sinks her consciousness into the earth itself, reaching for something that doesn't match the local earth, something from somewhere else. Clay giants. And when she finds them? When she finds one, she sets her will to a more spectacular task: claiming control over the very fabric of its being and tearing it apart.

In the back of her mind, the air whispers of more trees incoming, an imminent danger. But the trees are flying because of the giants. She has to beat the giants first. She'll have to trust to Asgard's shields.


There's a tree. Now, Anduvin grew up in the vast underground cities that are home to the dvergr, so it's not like he has a great deal of experience with trees. However: "I am certain that is not normal behavior for a tree." he declares gravely. When it becomes a habit of trees flying at the thunder god and his companions, he becomes content with the fact that he didn't decide to move in too close. But pyrite? Now that is something he knows, and something he can deal with. Rushing forward, he seeks to put himself between the iron and the chariot, and sets his stone upon the ground and leans into it. He could hold a mountain up with that posture, though if these little quakes knock the ground out from under him, this plan might go entirely to point. Someone might play bowling with the dwarf if the ground is unsteady at the wrong moment. That would be embarrassing to the young prince of the undervaults.


Underground… The jotun in the tunnel flees, leaving barely an echo rolling through the space. Something of that mass ought to create a thud, not a patter. But go it does, and the path forks, leaving almost no way to track by sight whether it cut left or right. Branches open up and close, looping back on themselves, creating dead ends in front of rockfalls or dropping away into inky holes that could be thin as a pencil or wide enough to swallow Thor's chariot whole. Run very carefully, children of the golden realm. Run very thoughtfully indeed.

Hrimhari's nose is the only thing they have to go by, at first.

And then the phosphorescent sparks start appearing like constellations out of the dark. Plinking embers igniting out of nothing, stars that transform the cave dark from claustrophobic to outright delirium. Are they running through space itself?


As it turns out, the giants were not playing bowling with dwarves. They were playing golf. There's Anduvin Eitrison, Runesmith of Nidavellir, leaning in to brace against the oncoming pyrite boulder. There's a grunt as the boulder hits him, and he so totally stops it: screw conservation of momentum, that doesn't apply to dwarves.

However, then there is a bit of a rumble, and the weight of that boulder… well. Suddenly there's a hole right under Anduvin and the boulder both, and with an oof, he's falling down into darkness.

The giants made a hole in one.


Topside… The elementalist, the dvergr, and the Trickster god can feel the magic saturating the world in fitful sparks, blossoming out of emptiness. This is a slow magic of the deep places where time flows sluggishly closest to the rivers Dream and Ifingr, that cold but unfreezing boundary of Jotunheim and Asgard. It dapples the mind's eye, nuisance background noise in their heads. That power retreats in a slow current towards Storm King Mountain, moving under the earth.


Sif was perfectly content to leave her shield behind. There was no sword to marry it to, and that anger within her calls for things to be done by hand. As the Jotun flees, Sif gives chase, a crack of the whistle of the lips to call Hrimhari to the side so that -she- could follow his nose into the darkness. But little does she know how far they would go…

..and she cares not!


"And welcomed," Thor's smile appears as battle looms before him, widening more when the opening play truly comes. Mjolnir has returned to his hand, and the moment Loki buried that knife point into the ground, he could feel the enchantments. Just enough, brother..


The trees fall to make a barricade, to keep the Thunderer from moving beyond, or perhaps to make a wall before the ground drops beneath his feet. Either way, this will not do, and Thor raises his hammer to call in the clouds and the skies darken immediately upon the call.. the rumble of thunder turns into waves before the lightning begins to crackle. One, *crash* hits a log, setting it aflame, igniting the next. *crash*.. no wood will keep Thor within.

The pyrite incoming, well.. the master of mines took it before it could be broken apart, and upon his landing and having the ground open beneath him, Thor reaches out to take hold of Crystal before he looks to Loki. "Going down!"


A frown marks Loki's feature as he gains stands beside Thor, looking around slowly as he continues to gauge the ebb and flow of the magical currents around them. He advances a few paces, Laevateinn glows faintly as he holds it before him even as he moves towards the hole towards the tunnel down. He reverses the grip, silvered blade held against the back of his arm as he moves down, glowing boots causing a small cascade of dirt, dust, and pebbles as he slides down that rampish formation.

"This is old magic, Thor. Older than what touches Midgard. Older than what we've faced before. It bodes ill." Which is a rather safe assumption to make, assuredly.


In Anduvin's tunnel… The dim shaft of sunlight combined by Laevateinn's humble glow give some distinction to the unnaturally smooth contours of the walls. The floor is slightly uneven. It slips away and branches into a Y behind them, and curves on irregular sinuous bends ahead. Faint sounds reach Thor, Loki, Anduvin: the rumbles of rockfalls, the faint crackle of soil from above. But this is a place still, dry, and unchanging as the veins and arteries of the earth's body so often tend to be. Eruptions of light glitter back, dizzying, a wealth without comparison for a natural space. Stars radiate in that gloaming, flashes of deep pigeon's blood mixed with an iridescence that keeps shifting ultraviolet to white, and clear tears that seem frozen perpetually in space. The light sweeps away forward, stars trickling off into the night. This, too, sings of the slow magic of the deeps, tasting of wet stone and mist.


"There are deep caverns," Crystal says, just before the boulder lands on the dwarf and reveals them. Timing. "They're all through the area," she adds more helpfully, moving to the edge to peer back down. "The jotun are moving, headed toward the mountain. I can feel them." As Thor reaches for her, she wraps an arm around him for support. Sure, she could fly herself down. But there's nothing to lose from letting Thor do the flying except for time.


When Crystal drops, yellow-gold stars are added to the existing constellations aforementioned.


ROLL: Thor +rolls 1d100 for a result of: 72


Underground, the wolf-prince turns back to Sif and the three wolves trailing behind them — two of them injured, but not seriously. "Down," says he in a growl. "This one hears… things he wishes he did not… in the dark."

Leirjotuns in Midgard.

UNDER Midgard.

Hrimhari sends out a telepathic message to the warwolves of Rowanoak's pack, and a bunch of them deliberately brave the sinkholes to reach Hrimhari's position. Several of them form up perfectly on Sif — military style. The wolves do not fear the dark.

They hunt in the dark.

And the Hunt is on.


Anduvin survived his fall admirably: it might be the construct he is riding in, or maybe he's just a dvergr and knows how to fall better then most. All around the smooth tunnel there are gemstones, and for the moment, the dwarf is transfixed by them, "The stones sing…" Really, glow. But he expresses it as a song. This is said almost to himself, but others come into the depths, and that causes one brow to arch, "They sing to our blood. My dvergr blood, these fluorspar know it, call to it. And this, the garnet? It sings to the Aesir blood." Gemstones don't usually do that, and he seems to find it fascinating. The sword that folds back in on itself and out continually collapses into his hand and then folds away into nothingness, as he reaches up to touch one of the fluorspar that glows near to where he stands.


Underground… The desperate flight through the celestial dark changes the way the earth moves under Sif and Hrimhari. Is there even earth? Stone? Nothingness? Their feet come down on a tacky substance that soon feels as chill and empty as the void, and they plunge along, unable to sense whether they are going up or down. No directions really in space. They see shades where they move, darkness against the stars, outlined patches of nothingness that could speak to a dead planet or one of the leirjotnar.

Then Sif slams chest-first into a column that wasn't visible there before, a ragged spike clashing out of the darkness. Flaring with a garnet light, a spray of dust screeches along her armor. Then she's falling again, and the curve of jade green stars streaking around the wolf prince guide him into a gaping hole, the pair of them drowning in the blurring dark. At the same time they fall down, they fly up at a sickening rate, and go shearing off a vertical wall onto a narrow shelf. Better hold on…


There was only the hunt. And rage. Environs didn't matter, the lights that flash before her eyes and the sounds that she hears did not make a difference. The wolves were at her side, a clear formation. Something more familiar in regards to her being Denmother of Hrimhari's pack. But it felt funny, like they were flying.
It felt funny.
It made Sif angry.
Sif does not like funny feels!

Sif also didn't like slamming clear into stone after tripping over a stalactite either.

That backward sprawl did not touch ground; instead.. she was floating. In fact, she looked like a child running through a temper tantrum, or a dream that only some Disney video game guy thought up. Sleep by birth.. falling through the stars.. Kingdom of Hearts.. and then up! Waking death.. falling up and.. sideways?

Sif .. angry Sif.. just stares. Psychadelic'd. Pissy.


"Then it is well that it is we who happened upon it and not some mortal hiking, brother." Thor is ready for battle, absolutely. He gives Loki a reassuring look and a nudge, "Just like old times. We will emerge from this and share a glass at the feast, speaking of the glories."

With Crystal thus in arm, then, Thor is ready to go below, and he makes the leap.

Anduvin's words catch Thor's ears soon after; and in making sure Crystal has footing, sets her upon the darkened ground. The sparkles as if the stars shine just for them even below gains Thor's attention, and for a moment he considers reaching for that deep crimson before he shakes his head, feeling the weight of the runed hammer in hand. "We have to move. To the mountain, then."


The other brother continues on, footsteps ragged and bracing until he reaches the bottom of that tunnel and begins to move ahead. A glow shines upon the gems in the walls, coming forth from the blade in his hand even as he advances. "They are seeking something,"

Loki casually boots a rock out of the way as he moves ahead, drawing the hood of his cloak up and over his features while he walks. His brow furrows as he moves, frowning, "Something about this is oddly familiar, but different." Of course that most likely only makes sense to him if no one else.


Underground… The wolves called down into the sinkholes soon enough encounter resistance, jotnar falling back from strategic placement. Boulders are flung, the occasional rockfall used to weaken the incoming lupines, but these are running battles rather than any opportunities to stop and fight. The frustrated howls of the beasts echo all the way down, sharp with anger and thwarted attempts:
<The little ones run!>
<The stone man won't stand still. Take my fangs, you coward!>

Another shadow moves ahead at the nearest subterranean intersection, just in sight of Thor and company. It wisps out of view, lost into the darkness with no more than a rasp of stone on stone. To Crystal it's very much a different thing as a giant snared partly by one of her spells struggles to run back — towards the mountain.

Sif and Hrimhari, by contrast, are lying on a ledge. Over the ledge, darkness. Under Sif's hip… a hammer? A pick lies some distance away, bits and pieces discarded in their places. If they feel about, the surface they are on is rough, definitely stony, and possibly paved or carved with straight lines.


"Like some sort of security system, tracking us here?" Crystal asks Anduvin, stepping toward him to get a look at the stones. "The others are ahead," she points down one tunnel. "There, that way. And down." As she's pointing, she catches a glimpse of the giant she can still feel, eyes narrowing.


Encouraged by the voices of his kin in battle — and not succumbing to death — Hrimhari rises into standing position… and walks to the edge of the ledge.

"This hath the feel of a path," he murmurs to Sif, looking back. "Art thou hale, Denmother?" he inquires. The wolf-man's nightvision helps to some degree, but he ends up closing his eyes and listening to the echoes travelling up and down the cave-system.

<Hunt them,> he orders his wolves. <Trust thy noses and thine ears. Slaughter any and every leirjotun in this place. Show no mercy, give no quarter.>

He reaches a hand toward Sif. "This way, Denmother."


"No stones of Midgard should know the blood of dvergr or Aesir, not this potency, not to mention no tunnel would have this variety of stones naturally. I do not know this magic, I do not know any magic, but this is disturbing." Then again, Anduvin is actually something of a scholar of magic: just not most forms of actual spellcasting. He works magic with tools and not spells, after all. No longer distracted by the stones, he lifts one hand and from his palm his shifting blade folds itself out of nothing into its unstable, constantly twisting form. Just in case. Still, he seems calm and alert, "The mountain." he agrees with the Asgardian Crown Prince, though there's a lingering look at the hammer, "It is an honor to bear Anduvinanaut in the company of Mjolnir, Thor Odinson." But Crystal gets a curious look, her comment on the security system seeming to intrigue him.


The route to the mountain is, in all actuality, easier to track when one can sense the other Asgardians ahead and below them. Between Loki and Crystal's efforts, they can follow through the tunnels streaming with those radiant stars that spark in passing and fade away from them. The effect is still increasingly peculiar even with light cast by swords and the faint runes, but they soon enough come to the rather large, deep fissure slammed into the ground like a canyon that Hrimhari and Sif fell through. True enough, there's even a bloody stalactite there.


"Or they are drawing us for reason.." Thor begins, "But they have not yet stood for battle, but instead, put obstacles in our path and run." He looks first to Loki for agreement or dis-, then to where he knows Crystal stands, and finally the prince of dwarves. "They should not. Could it be a system for alarm?" A security system without knowing what that was! "Is that what 'security system' is, Crystal?"

Thor offers a half-bow to the dwarf, following, "Your presence and knowledge of these places beneath honors our ancestors and I thank you for your aid." Though now, on the path towards the mountain, Thor is actually thinking, considering.. and with each step, he grumbles softly, "I like this not."


A leg dangles. It was disorienting enough that she does not know the angle. But once her eyes finally open, the fog clears and Hrimhari stands above with an outstretched hand. Reason, no matter how small wins out, and with an outstretched hand, she clasps vambrace against Little Paw's outstretched hand which was used to pull herself up. The scraping of the hammer against the .. ground? causes her to bend to pick it up, a slight little smirk drawn upon her features as the first words from their descent comes out. "T'is not Mjolnir.. but I shall make it mighty.."

A quick survey of the area yields nothing, and a careful inch at the edge causes a few rocks to fall within it's depths. Sif turns an ear.. she listens.. and reckless as she be.. she turns towards Hrimhari to grin and say those fated words.

"I'll be back." A toss of the hammer into his direction and Sif jumps.


Near Sif and Hrimhari… Distant murmurations disturb the pitch dark. Rumbles shake the ledge they're on, the same low, weird tones that Hrimhari initially heard on the topside before the trees started to shake. Those scattered tools jitter on the rooftop, making a very strange noise indeed. Metal and stone rattle about. It's a dull cacophony in the dark. The stink builds, that familiar stench of the leirjotuns thickening by the minute. Stars don't sing here, stars don't glow in the blinding and suffocating dark, cloying and thick as the scent of the earth.


"That's what a security system is, yes," Crystal nods to Thor, keeping an eye on the stones as the group moves through the tunnel. "I'm not sure if destroying the stones would destroy their ability to track us, though, or if they're tracking us much the way I'm tracking them and the stones are just an indicator of what they're doing. Although why would they give us a visible means of realizing they're tracking us? Unless it's a necessary side effect of however they're doing it…"

Her rambling thoughts on the stones are cut short by something else, though, something that tickles at the back of her mind. "There's something they're moving toward. And it's not from here. I mean, it isn't of Midgard. They're all going to it, and quickly."


The prince's claws rake down the stone walls as he leaps off the roof after Sif, leaving deep gouges behind. Two more wolves follow… and at this point, the stench becomes unbearable. The wolf-man's heightened senses are all but smothered by the overpowering smell of the leirjotuns in this awful dark.

Hrimhari doubles over, dry-retching.

One of the wolves — from Sleeps-in-Hollows' pack — collapses. It is only a forceful, telepathic command from the prince that keeps his people going forward.

<Fenris' mane let this stench end…> he curses, invoking something very dark in himself.


In return to Thor's bow, Anduvin takes a moment to return it in kind: and slightly deeper, as well. But it is a brief exchange, for the Mountain calls to them and the dvergr finds this misuse of earth, stone and gems to be something he is considering taking personally. At that, he reaches out to one of the fluorspar — and it glows more as his hand nears it — and takes a careful grip and pulls the gem from the wall. "I can not divine its function, but I fear that if it is a system of alarm, it is too late. It does not seem actively harmful, even though it is clearly attuned to us." He purses his lips, holding his sword up nd ready, but holding the ever glowing gem with his other hand. He keeps his attention focused forward and simply… feels the stone, feeling for the weave of magic and enchantment, to attempt to discern more of what it does. The stone does not seem forthcoming with his secrets, "I advise we forgo excess caution and move at speed: if it is an alarm, we do not wish to give our enemy more time then is needed to prepare."


"I know not what the stones are doing," Thor responds, "But as they are not attacking us…" and he lets his words drop off in favor of,

"I am Thor Odinson, Crown Prince of Asgard," is called out loud enough, hopefully, to reverberate through the tunnels. "I would have word with your master to speak of terms for you!" A parlay! "We would speak!" Thor's voice drops as he addresses the three with him, "Jotuns do not run. Even the leirjotun in the park turned to fight. These are not. Perhaps it is to try to confuse or confound our steps."

Now this.. this may seem a very different Thor than even a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps his father would be proud, or on the other hand, embarrassed that his son isn't taking up fighting.

Of course, even with this dwarf's warning, announcing their presence might not have been the best of ideas…



Here and there, leirjotnar emerge from various tunnels that open into the larger chamber. They run at full speed towards the back, a spot that darkness conceals from blinded eyes but not overwhelmed noses. Crystal can sense their numbers, ones and twos bleeding from a cut vein and joining the mass gathered at the back of the hollow. The exodus is not slowing in the least as those leirjotnar stream around a cliff face, entering through three narrow dark gaps that probably converge onto the same tunnel. However tall the cliff face is isn't certain. It probably goes to the ceiling. If there is a ceiling. Still those queer rumbling sensations pass over everyone, ripples of sound reflecting over one another.

Without any significant means of illumination, Sif and Hrimhari cannot see the proportions of the place. They can, however, feel the ragged steps chopped down and down still, switchbacking and ending up in a pile of rubble that could have been a wall. Further on, a knee-high trip hazard of a collapsed shed. Other shapes might emerge to their hands, walls that have holes in them, gaping entries that might be doorways of irregular shape. Too regular for caverns, too rough for New York building codes, they're something. Homes, maybe. Caches, possibly, what with all the debris around, left on the ground in a hurry.

The Asgardians, and company, are very certainly under the mountain of the Storm King by this point. Might be worth food for thought on that, the Storm King bit… Midgardners are a weird lot when it comes to naming.

Or, you know, Thor Odinson just did that.

Runes start to light up on the single cliff face. The giants behind it bolt, picking up the little ones, gathering in clots at an all out flight. Streams of runes at circles and forked angles, shaded with a dull light cover the top fifth of the cliff in bands. And then blacker-than-black pits open below those, and the sound of an iceberg sheared off an Antarctic sheet is really nothing to bedrock birthing a child.



The land upon the ground was met with a crouch and hands placed to steady herself. The smell was unholy, even though sounds of Hrimhari dry-wretching gives her stomach a flip flop and a once over. But it was nothing like that mess in the park, Sif had a stomach of steel after that shit-show of a fight. But the after-scrub would be no less, if they were to get out of here. Her arm reaches out to snag a wolf, large as it was, to take upon the journey of the ragged steps. Their little paws, smaller than her feet, could have easily made the path but she made it for them.

Her hand was pressed to a wall, leaning. Occasionally knocking against it as movements was sensed. To hear the familiar cry of the Prince was something.. but this was something that she was unfamiliar with. The rage was leaking from her body which soon turned to curiosity. And without thought, she bends to place the wolf upon the ground so that he could scramble away if he wishes. A hand lifts towards Hrimhari as she listens..

Then calls out in turn. "I surrender to thee!" If they were running.. "I bring no more harm, aye! I surrender!"


"What is this?" Crystal asks of the Asgardians, looking between Thor and Anduvin. She can sense their movement, feel the upheaval in the earth, but without context, without knowing anything of these clay giants, where they come from, what their motives are…It's like being able to hear a foreign language - noise with no meaning.


In a way, Anduvin feels more and more comfortable the deeper they go, the closer to the mountain they travel; this is almost like home. Okay, home does not have giants and does have a lot more dwarves, not to mention far more taste in tunnel-based interior design. But they're giants, you have to give them some leeway. He continues to hold the gem, and bear the sword of Anduvinanaut, but the runes… The Runesmith is drawn to the runic magic, and he says gravely, "They are invoking power, great power: and not just power, but a power that thinks and moves. They are drawing strength and thought into the mountain. And there.." He gestures to smaller series of runs, "Those horns, do not let them be sounded. The runespells speak to calling the people of the earth— the leirjotnar I suspect— and invoking the rune of travel. Reinforcements?"


Thor catches the sound of Sif's voice, and he lifts his head in an attempt to locate her with sound only. Pushing forward, he can hear the scrabbles, can smell the stench of the leirjotun; the rotting roots, moss, the smell of the loam mixed with dirt and stone.

"I am Thor Odinson, Crown Prince of Asgard! I would speak to your master!" is called again, and he listens to catch any response to his call. If there is none, he continues, "Loki Odinson, Prince of Midgard is Protector of Midgard by command of the All-Father! It is by our sufferance that you live, and his decision if you remain or return to Jotunheim!"

Thor pushes on soon after, his voice lowering to explain to Crystal. "Jotunheim.. the land of giants.. there are a few giants there. Why they are here, Balder will discover soon enough. But their behavior.. the smaller ones.. children?" Yes, giants do have children. "These aren't warriors."

Thor raises his voice again, "Sif! If you can hear me, follow my voice!" Though by what he could hear of her words, it seems as if the Sword Maid has also worked it out. "Can you hear children?!"

Looking back to where Anduvin is, Thor's voice lowers. "I do not believe they want to hurt us," is given slowly. "I think they are afraid. If they seek to travel, perhaps it is they who run from us? Go home to Jotunheim? Move elsewhere away from us?" Dammit.. all this is for Loki and Balder, not him, and it's really killing him.

"How do we keep the horns from being sounded?"


Cliff face means exactly what is described. A cliff face. The rocky seams of the uneven schist and granite give an impression of a mouth, a blocky edge for a head all the way around. It opens and closes that shape, then a curiously clear voice emerges, and shakes the very ground.

« One hears the speaker, Thor Odinson, Crown Prince of Asgard. One accepts surrender of Asgard woman and four-leg one. »

Boulders tumble down as it steps forward, separating from the cliff, and fragile lines of stone split or give way as it shuffles forward at a glacier's pace. It brushes them off, sending debris wide to the sides. The leirjotnar try not to halt, still running for the now gaping mouth of the exit tunnel. Turns out those three avenues were created by where its feet were planted into the ground. When one of the sheets of rock crashes low, it stoops and holds out a huge, ill-formed hand to shield the tons from striking smaller, huddling figures that can't scramble away fast enough. Dust and shards still rain down. But the jotnar run. They run for their lives past the thing that looks and dresses like a giant clay giant, but isn't one.

« One does not permit Thor Odinson or Loki Odinson or All-Father to take these lives. It is forbidden by the word. »


It was Thor's voice again that has her head turning, this way and that, the soft whimpers of the wolfkind next to her has her leg leaning to the side to nudge it into quiet. With a slight bend of her knee, she takes the maw of the wolf, pressing a kiss to it's nose as well as a pat to it's side, a snap of the fingers as well and a point. Find your brothers and sisters. It tells the wolf, and do her bidding it does.

"Odinson!" Sif calls out, her hand cupped to her lips to amplify the sound of her voice, as if she were to wave, to beckon the gathering crew closer.. "Crystal! Where art thou?!" She'd call for the others.. but at times Loki pisses her off, aside.. aside.. aside..

The voice however, shakes the foundations that she and Hrimhari stand upon, Sif's hand catches the wall to lean upon it and move forward, pressing her back flat against the wall as whatever movement causes a large bolder overhead to fall, arm pressed to Hrimhari to keep him still before dashing along. It accepted their surrender. And surrender they shall!

Hearing Thor again, she shakes her head into the darkness. She feels a bit closer in position to the leirjotnar, "AYE!" She calls in return, though this time her voice directs itself towards the one that calls to the traveling cadre.

"Send one to collect! We will not fight! We go willingly!" As to show, once Hrimhari and Sif were free and clear of any dangers from above, Sif raises her hands and lowers herself to her knees.. and delivers a smack to Hrimhari's leg for him to do the same.


"Or they're calling their parents," Crystal suggests as Thor explains. The cliff face moves, and the Inhuman princess stares up at it. This strangeness… There's no telling if she should be attacking or defending, but she's not one to discourage Thor from attempting diplomacy. She does, however, make a small gesture with one hand. Those horns won't blow if she plugs them with air. Right? "I've blocked the horns," she murmurs to her companions. "If they work like normal horns and aren't magical, at least."


The dwarf prince regards the Asgardian prince with a considering look: he hadn't considered the angle that Thor brought up, and he gives a respectful nod in acknowledgement of that fact. And then the cliff comes forth. Well. Anduvin knew they were channeling power— and thought— into the mountain. He is a little surprised by the scope of the runeworking, though. For a moment he is considering. He'd have an answer for Thor's question, but the stone … construct … has his avid attention. "And I, construct? What do you forbid me? I am Anduvin Eitrison, Prince of Nidavellir and Master Runesmith. I ask you, stone lord, are you an enemy of ours, or do you seek only to preserve these lives? It is not wise for any in any of the Nine Realms to declare themselves enemies of the dvergr when beneath mountain stone, so instead may we consider peace between ourselves?" Maybe he should let Thor do the diplomacy, but. Anduvin is sort of a go-get-'er type.


"It is forbidden for the Jotun to come to Midgard without the express permission of the All-Father! We stay our hand because of our word and honor! Prince Loki of Asgard is Protector of Midgard now, and any who wish to remain needs to speak to him. He has the voice of the All-Father here!"

Thor drops his voice again and murmurs to Crystal, "From the creation of the Nine Realms, there is a bond between the Realms. Each has a protector, a champion." S'why, perhaps, it is a 'big deal' that Loki now holds that title? "Why the leitjotnar's is here.." and he moves forward to find Sif; he can hear her, and he's trying to work out if she's above him, below him..

"There is something else here at work.." Thor murmurs before he raises his voice again, "They trespass. We will give them safe passage home to Jotunheim as we are bound by the word. Should they not return, we will be within our rights to go to Jotunheim."


The horns will indeed not blow, and the reverberating noises around them start to fade out as fewer and fewer of the leirjotnar are willing to risk their lives. Silence starts to fall, amplifying the shouts being exchanged over a cavern.

The construct continues to block the way for anyone coming after the dwindling pool of clay giants beating feet. Hard to read body language on a giant statue, but its position looks somewhat defensive, rather than ready to play shotput or baseball with an Odinson. It makes no motion to bother Sif or Hrimhari, and shows no concern for the air around the horns, for that matter. Those black voids of its eyes are reserved for princes and princesses bothering to talk.

« One will forbid harm come to the children of the mountain. » Its voice shakes the ground and dust falls from the chamber ceiling, a lack of a volume setting noteworthy. « One holds no quarrel to Anduvin Eitrison, Prince of Nidavellir. The way is barred to war and the falling hammer, the thrown spear, the clashing rock, the ice and the fire. One does not allow them to pass. It is as the word says. »

A pause follows. Hey, runes only work so fast to compute fancy words. The creature leans forward slightly, peering at them with those vast, dark eyes. Sif is somewhere on the same field, except far to the left, where all the buildings are piled up in various stages of disrepair. If they swing a light that way, they'll see the homesteads, the abandoned tools… and not one weapon. Not a sword, not a war-axe, not a tree club.

« It cannot be done. The way to Jotunheim is barred. They are forbidden. The word would lead them to death. One cannot allow violence upon them. One speaks not for the broken word of Jotunheim. »


Crystal grimaces at Thor's talk of protectors. "I begin to see why the sorcerer didn't much care for this arrangement," she notes in a low tone. "Especially if everyone else gets to have their own protector from their own people. Not that you and your brother don't care of us, but we're quite capable-" This isn't really the time for that conversation.

Hearing the giant, she frowns slowly, working through the giant's words, searching the cavern. "They're trapped here?" she says. "Or banished? Who would have that sort of power, to enact a banishment that runs counter to your father's wishes?"


« Yes. »

Crystal's questions get a very simple answer from the giant. Isn't it nice when huge constructs are to the point?


"It is not through the power of any one will— even so great a power as Odin Borson, surely a singular will that is second to none in all of the Realms— but through war that Asgard enforces its edicts." This is said conversationally, but only after Anduvin moves closer to Thor and his strange woman companion. This doesn't sound like a complaint against Asgardian action, and that is supported as he continues, "The dvergr make gifts of our craft to support Asgard in its just dealings with those who would cause strife and suffering in the Realms." Make gifts, or are tricked into deals by Loki. Depends entirely on who you ask, really. Still, she didn't ask him, but he will share otherwise. Mostly because the question of the giants, and with the revelation that they claim to be trapped here? Means this is of no concern of his. In fact, his strange sword folds impossibly into itself and vanishes. "The Son of Nidavellir will stand with Asgard if you, stone lord, threaten harm to the Odinsons or any of their companions." He pauses, and adds as an aside to Thor, "But enforcing the All-Father's law is a concern of yours, unless you have cause to ask for aide." Meaning he isn't sure this is any of his business, really. Or its too complicated for him to unravel. Or maybe he's just wanting to play neutral, who knows?


"We will sit in council to decide if these leitjotunar are allowed to remain in Midgard. None petitioned the All-Father, and so they trespass. For that, the punishment is to return or death. The All-Father is merciful, to a point."

Thor makes his way towards where he knows the Prince of Wolves is as well as Sif. His hand is outstretched such that a line can be formed so when all are together, eventually. "Because Midgard doesn't know about the other realms," Thor reminds Crystal softly but deliberately. "Remember? And they sure don't know about the rules." He lowers his voice a little more before, "I learned about this about two thousand years ago, when I still had tutors. Think I listened? I had Loki." He's more than willing to bring out the self-deprecating humour on this one, now that their lives aren't threatened. "You're welcome, by the way."

Holding a hand out for Sif so she can find her way up to them, Thor nods his head to the next questions, "Which means we go to Jotunheim."

Turning around, Thor signals those with him that he is ready to pick his way to the surface. "We know they're here, and they're not going anywhere. We should find a way to make this park off-limits until we figure out what we can do with them." Thor smiles at Anduvin and extends a hand, ready to grasp the other man's in friendship and alliance, as he finishes his thought. "Perhaps move them to another Realm if someone would take them." It's true, though… Asgard does enforce its edicts, sometimes through diplomacy, but should that fail, she is never afraid to go to war.

This is something all but one of their company is more than aware of.


Ah, that is where they were. Surrendering meant something, the pause was a great deal to listen and to not fight. A lesson that she's learning all too well with her time here. Wordlessly, she and Hrimhari make their way to the front with the gesture, the hand clasped with Thor's in one of brotherly union and released, her approach to join the rest of the makeshift cadre was met with nods and a formal greeting of a bow to the Prince of Dwarfs. And then she's silent there after, and remain until a time, even when they reach the surface and depart to their respective domiciles.


« One does not give threat or war. One defends the children of the mountain from harm. It is the word. » The construct's stony features are incapable of emotion and the voice is perfectly even, equally neutral in tone. Glowing bands wrap around its head while it stands as it is, barring the way mostly by sheer scale. Built big, he doesn't have a choice and the word probably doesn't say 'sit down and have tea with Asgard.'

« They cannot go forward to Jotunheim. They will die. They cannot go back to Jotunheim. They will die. The children of the mountain are denied a home. » The ponderous speech takes a bit to come out, the limits of the spellcraft stirring in its animated mind. Runes flash and glow, steady otherwise. « What will Asgard's princes say for this state? Will your arms be raised upon the children who huddle against the rock with empty hands? »


"I will lend my sword to the children and nothing more!" Sif calls out to the construct, then once again falls silent. If there were to be any words regarding her decision, stay tuned for tomorrow, where much mead drinking and turkey leg throwing would be had.


"Mmmm. You missed a few enterprising Kree using your humans as experimental stock," Crystal points out to Thor in a low tone of her own, though there's still some humor in her voice. After all, she wouldn't be here if it weren't for those Kree and their experiments. "It…wouldn't be their fault if someone forced them here," she says as the construct speaks. "Would it be right to punish them for someone else's action's? Perhaps there might be some compromise in finding the true source of the problem. And some justice in returning them to their homes, rather than in punishing them."


At the offered hand, something strange happens. Anduvin's arm glows, a streak of uneven and twisted light that reveals beneath it the moving mechanisms once more, but the light spreads and then there is nothing but a mechanical arm. At the shoulder, where the arm connects, light leaks out at the edge between the illusion to the mechanism. The mechanism that splits open, and folds back, rolling up like a mechanical sleeve. It is a much smaller arm and hand that reaches out to clasp Thor's in return: but the grip is nothing like weak, despite its size. After the shake, the mechanism folds down over his arm and becomes a construct's arm once more, and then the light spreads down, enfolding it in the illusion so it looks to be a man's once more. It would not be right to dishonor an offered hand by returning it with a construct's grip.

Still, on the matter of the fate of the giants? Anduvin has nothing more to say: he will stand to defend the Asgardians and their companions if need be, but otherwise this is a matter for … Wait. He does add, "The Vaults of Nidavellir were robbed, recently, and we traced the magic that took them away from our Realm to Midgard. I do not know it is connected to this, but… if it is, if there is any possibility that the uru that was stolen could relate to what trapped these giants here…" He becomes interested, and looks up to the construct, "Construct. Do you know who barred the way to Jotunheim?" he asks directly. Uru. The metal that Mjolnir and all the greatest works of the dwarves is made out of: and the most valuable substance in all of Nidavellir, which makes it quite valuable indeed.


"Then that is for the Jotun to determine. The law states that none may travel across realm without permission. That has been since the creation and we are well within our rights. It is not Midgard's concern that Jotunheim cares not for its people."

Thor is ready to head back to the surface. "That is for them. We have no control over what Jotunheim does with their subjects. When it spills to the other realms, then it becomes our business."

Pausing at the 'Kree' comment, Thor mutters his own response, "I thought Midgard didn't require any outside aid?" Naaaaayah! "I see you all do so well without us."

Thor stops in his tracks and looks at Anduvin. "Uru was stolen?" He knows well what metal Mjolnir is forged from, and.. "This is concerning.."


« The usurper king. One that claims right it does not possess. » The guardian rocks slightly in place. Its answer to the dwarf, as much as to Thor, is especially direct. Had it emotion, it would be grinding its teeth. Instead a despairing moan from one of the giants still able to hear the words echoes out from the tunnel.

« The usurper claims favour outside Jotunheim. Does the Prince look for war? He will not find it among the loyal children of the Mountain. They follow the word. They have not come to war. They flee to spare their lives. Seek a throne sat by an unworthy lord that has no right to claim or rank. Ask what keeps the usurper in his place. What strength has he to defy the word of the realms? »


Crystal arches a brow back at Thor, half amused and half ready to continue the conversation. She did say she wanted a challenge. Promises were made. If she wants to be seen as more than just a princess, just something to fill a void, then she has to be willing to share something of herself as well. To step to the challenges she's looking for. But this…is the time for diplomacy. This is the time to listen, and to think.

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