1964-03-14 - The Open Door
Summary: It came upon a dusk clear, while a skald meditates.
Related: The Asgardian Arc
Theme Song: Coming Home - The Rigs
hrimhari rogue 

'Tis a quiet visitation.

Few Midgardians — humans, assorted natives of this little, blue world — would have marked the presence of a lone, silver-furred wolf as he steals his way through hidden paths to a certain apartment building. For any to have sensed him, would have taken powers beyond the norm. Thus, he ducks within — and takes the first open window to ascend the building on the outside… all the way to the top.

The wolfman drops over the wall crowning the apartment-building into a rooftop garden, and pauses. Nostrils flare and he drinks in the familiar scent — not merely of the flowers, but of their Keeper. An old friend.

"Milady Bloodcrown…" he murmurs in a rich, exotic voice that would vaguely resemble an English accent. "This one returns."


'Tis a quiet hour of contemplation and mourning, in a sense. Hard news rarely receives adequate time for reflection in the breakneck pace of life, but Scarlett carves out a little for herself when the rest of the world dwells in dusk.

She sits upon the rooftop in a meditative pose, lotus style, feet tucked above the crook of her knees. Back straight, her repose meets with the classic lines of the meditative Buddha or any number of gurus and swamis on the Indian subcontinent. Around her lie the dormant beds of a seidr garden, ripe with the herbs and perennial shrubs weathered over despite a blanket of snow and ice acquired on these lofty heights. Those pots and earthen mounds still green in the darkening of winter attest to the presence of hardier alpine species, those common to the forests of Norway and Sweden, the grueling heights of the Alps and Iceland, each carefully collected, transplanted, and nurtured. Not many other places have an active collection so kept that would serve the needs of a proper Asgardian mystic. It's questionable she even knows their purpose.

More than likely, she does.

Her verdant green eyes open first to the inquiry so given, the hint of a familiar voice thought lost. Lips part and taste the air, seeking proof of the copper tang or the musky, wet scent of fur and raw, primordial earth, perhaps something else. Parting in the aftermath of such sweet sorrows teaches a girl about expectations.

It doesn't teach her how much the moment can hurt, her soul shredded down its axis and stitched back together imperfectly, hope leaking from the open wound, fed by a broken heart full of razor blade shards that cut as keenly emotionally as their namesake instrument.

Thus, the voice comes hoarsely, in some small part to the cold, her dulcet soprano scoured from its moonbeam sheen. "—Hari?"


The wolfman smiles.

Rising up to his full height — all 5'10" of it — he morphs slowly into something that is a bit more 'man' that 'wolf', but considering he has no clothes on, the fur will have to do.

As if in response to his arrival, some of the plants and flowers sprout and twine about him — forming patterns and intricate shapes, until he calmly waves a clawed hand at them, bidding them settle down.

The magic of the Seidr is strong in this one.

"'Tis Hrimhari," says he, making a few steps toward Scarlett, and bowing floridly. "Milady does her home proud… even if there is sorrow in her eyes. Wherefore art thou sad, Scarlett?"


It hurts. Had he any idea how, he need only look on the child of sunrise in the arctic latitudes, those brilliant green eyes almost unearthly, possibly hinting at some mutual origin in ages past. Such a hue isn't common, shared by the lines of Lady Incantara and Fenrisson both. Hers, however, are but mortal, and unlike his forefather, go liquid in an instant.

Breathe in, hold three seconds. Breathe out for two. Cycling her breath does not help, never, and how could it? Her attempts to keep the salt sting from running in silvered trails over her cheeks fails, even as she refuses to dip her head down.

Sheer willfulness is strong in this one, as it ever should be. Bohemians don't hide from their feelings much.

"You were gone," she replies lamely, raising her hand to encompass the moon. "All left their dwellings on Midgard. I looked to the sky and watched the Bifrost's pieces crash down upon us. Though I collected as many as I could, that signaled the cessation of communication and all means to reach those I called friends and boon companions, and I had been severed, cast adrift, lacking so much as the means to send a message in a bottle that might one day find your shores."


"So it was decreed," Hrimhari replies softly as he walks over to his friend, his dear friend. The smile upon his lupine features is… bittersweet. "This one could not return — not while the wolf-packs were divided. Hrimhari must be…"

And he pauses, letting out a breath.

"Prince, first. Even the Wyld Paths were closed… some of them, at the least. Hrimhari returns, though… and Scarlett is still sad. Are not reunions meant to be joyful?" He reaches out a clawed hand toward her, as if he were to lay it gently upon her shoulder perhaps — but doesn't. Not at this time, anyway.


Scarlett raises a palm, facing outwards, rather than making a cutting gesture someone might wrongly interpret as a means to silence their conversation. "I know. Midgard is not your realm. Those born to duty must adhere to those responsibilities and pursue their course, despite the motivations of their heart. Thus has it ever been in a time of upheaval and overturn, were the rumours true of the usurpation of the throne. With the All-Father gone and the elder Prince vanished, naturally one must do all they might to assure continuity and stability. Asgard must not be at war with herself, nor the other realms permitted to fall from perilous balance."

Those words may sound practiced, but they carry a rawness of fresh beaten metal, acknowledging their recent conjuration. She hasn't seen practicing them in the mirror, in other words.

Wiping away the tears with the back of her hand doesn't stop them from flowing. "I can be happy and sad at once, for I am not so simple a creature as to exist in one emotional state. Can you not feel joy and anguish and anxiety in the same breath? For I can." Her gaze travels away from Hrimhari's face to his hand, and then back up again. "It's perfectly safe if you avoid my skin. Not safe if you do not. I lack control when… this would render great difficulties attempting to withhold the curse of mine from devouring thine essence woefully fast."


The prince nods, and gently lays his hand upon Scarlett's shoulder — only touching the fabric, and not flesh. "Hrimhari would be a fool to think Scarlett… simple," says he with a wry half-grin. "This one has had very little to do with… Two-Legs for sometime. It is…" A pause. "'Twill require some 'getting used to', this one thinks your people say."

Another smile.

"Milady said she had tried to collect pieces of the Bifrost? That… is an ambitious undertaking. And a kind gesture. It truly feels strange… having been so cut off from the wolves of the Middle Realm. For too long, Hrimhari has not been able to hear them. That was…" and his nose wrinkles.



"Would that I could become a polite, well-mannered lupine for proper conversation, although attaining that form, I should sound as a pup fresh from his dam's den in my imperfect command of language. A poor showing, even worse than my Aesir." Self-deprecation on that front exposes itself, for she can speak with reasonable fluency in the Asgardian tongue, though highly complex or technical terms will still stymie her. After all, the Old Norse sources do not offer manifold examples of shipbuilding or scientific vocabulary for her to study. Though she can name trees like no one's business.

The weight of his hand warrants an instinctive stiffening, though the redheaded bohemian fights that unconscious response and overrides it. Naturally her unease follows when a mere touch can deprive someone of their consciousness in a heartbeat. "Back to the Two-Legs, our follies and glories be laid out for your scrutiny still."

Her chin dips and she equally avoids tipping her head to rest against his forearm, for that would defeat the whole purpose of caution. "My lord should know most were collected by the Enchantress for her to weave into a greater spell. Some few fragments I retained in hopes they might once more be used to rekindle the Bifrost, though such may be a stroke of fleeting hope. Yet still they live and radiate their light, and such as they go undimmed, may there yet be cause for Heimdall to heal, and the All-Father to see fit once more to connect the Middle Realm to the other nine."


Hrimhari stiffens at the mention of the Enchantress. It is not that he dislikes her — Amora merely shares a number of qualities with his grandfather. Loki. Still, he says nothing on that, but lowers his hand to his side and lifts his chin.

"The citizens of Midgard have a saying," says he with a gleam in his golden eyes. "Old habits die hard. This one supposes it is a fitting adage… more or less. Wolves are not so easily offended — hmm. Perhaps 'tis scrutiny indeed…"

The wolfman smirks a bit, and gives a muted shake of his grey-furred head. "Either way, no offense was intended. How else has life been, since Asgard became distant?"


Old habits die hard, oh indeed. One cannot cease to be what they are, not without considerable disruption to the system.

"Blessed are thine kindred, for the directness and the open regard of wolfkind be a quality absent greatly in these days. While we bicker and fight over power, could we not take a lesson from the cooperation of the pack? But, no, we are reduced to squabbling over our scraps of territory, snapping at any who draw too close. 'Tis the bitter remedy of upheaval caused by his highness, the late Prince of Asgard." He is not named All-Father. For someone so mindful with her words, this is likely no oversight or accident on Scarlett's part.

She keeps her hands in her lap, rather than using them to inflect words, as so often is her wont. "One shifts as they may. I cannot speak to grand adventures in the stars, for truthfully, I had no heart for it. I grieved in the manner we do here, which so often requires one bury their pains and outwardly demonstrate no weakness, lamentations held in the depths of the mind while resuming a normal course of affairs. I returned to university. I danced in the skies and follow Lady Amora, tempering her path as I might, though her ambitions delivered us to Muspelheim less than a week past in search of he who perished. Dead is not dead."


"To keep an ear and nose upon the Enchantress is a noble pursuit," the wolf-prince murmurs thoughtfully. "Hrimhari is pleased." He moves around the garden a bit, before dropping comfortably to his haunches and tracing his claws lightly upon the ground.

"Milady will be pleased to hear, Runs-in-Circles lives, as does Rowanoake. They have pups of their own now… most of whom take after their father. If possible, Hrimhari will summon them here — there are still ways open to wolves, if not others. Tell me of this university? 'Tis a hall of learning, aye?"


"The ways be open to wolves, as much as the aliens claimed to dwell among us." Depth of knowledge rests in those jade dark eyes, settled upon Hrimhari to drink in all the finer details. So much of their communication resides outside the verbal spectrum, and very slowly, Scarlett is starting to decipher what his posture or the myriad expressions mean on a level beyond the rudimentary. "The university is a hall of learning, an academy focused upon advanced academic development. Such do we obtain our skilled tradesmen and scholars, professionals who practice medicine and law, and the like. The Asgardian parallels are considerable, though we do not have a five century journeymanship unless the All-Father sees fit to lend a few of us the golden apples to learn all the arts and fields of the humanities in a span." A chide lies in the latter, a hint of a smile touching her lips even in the phoenix pyre of their suffering and glory.

"I am glad you are back. The stones gave some direction as to what I may expect, and I assure you, my lord, your presence once more is a heartening thing. I thank the Norns for weaving a reunion for us once more, and may our paths ever converge."

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