1964-06-20 - Joy and Tragedy
Summary: Let those who love and love well reap the benefits. Or have a good story.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
rogue amora 

The halcyon days of spring edge to the longest day of the year. One more evening and the northern hemisphere balances at the crux of the longest hours of daylight, and should that not imitate the endless days experienced above the Arctic Circle, it still proves a marvel. Balmy nights and increasingly warm days signal the hour when New Yorkers shuck their coats and pull out sandals and shorts, skirts and short-sleeved shirts. The dazzling profusion of greenery and brightly petalled flowers in rainbow quilts stitched upon the breast of Brooklyn speaks, too, to the earth's joy for the warming cares of summer.

The summer Queen, such as she is, sits among a hillock of candytuft in shades of seared magenta and salmon pink, unlikely royal blue and eye-watering green leaves. The sweet fragrance rises into the air, and Scarlett's bare toes, shellacked in a glittery polish tinted decidedly blue of a night sky, knead at the grass where they encroach on the sun warmed bed. She isn't the only one to enjoy the parks; there are a half-dozen brides in the gardens having their photographs taken, but equally as many aficionados of flowers and fresh air hasten right along the paths to claim a coveted spot.

Amora seems to simply fade into existence beside her mortal apprentice. A goddess of greenery and gold. She didn't appear to catch the eye of any other mortal present, and was visible to only Scarlett. A handy spell when one wished to go otherwise unnoticed in the world. A subtly that rarely could have been applied to the Enchantress.

In fact, the Enchantress seemed heavily changed from when last the redhead saw her. Gone were any signs of that shadowed wrongness. Rather, her power seemed doubled over in her presence. She smelled heavily of mead, the sweetness of strawberries, and power swirled around her eyes in a corona of arcane, shimmering, light.

Amora was dressed otherwise in the height of Asgardian fashion. A low sweeping neckline of the finest, impossible silk, golden beads and green braided into intricate designs in her hair as she reclined back, her hands settling firmly behind her with a jingle of bracelets of gold. "Hello my dear, how fair does mine apprentice?"

The fair one and the golden one; together they must make quite the sight, springtime and autumn merged into one pairing. Add a golden frame to make the most lovely of pastoral paintings, and watch Sotheby's sell it for millions.

The presence of the arcane, and moreover that sun-baked scent of strawberries warming on soil, alerts the keen senses sharpened to a fever pitch. Fingers curl in the cropped, thick turf acting as an islet between flowery beds. Roses are a distance away, the intervening yards filled by English gardens in styling, lavender and primroses in full flush among the nodding paper-fine poppies and slightly more exotic species trimmed, tamed, and teased into a profuse explosion.

Her head tilted back, Scarlett takes in her new companion with a measured gaze. How not to fall into the enchantment, not be beguiled by a smile and the cheerful amusements professed in Amora's good humour? Mirth calculates a neat response, after adjusting to the dazzle as one does light fractured on the wavelets in the harbour. "Merrily glad for the delightful clime, my lady. As it seems to favour you."

Amora seemed to pause for a moment, and then leaned back to stretch herself out on the hillock beside the redhead. Her arms lifting up above her head, before she let them fall back to the greenery beneath her. A heavy sigh drew from the Enchantress and golden hair spilled out around her head in a perfume of delicate scents. The green tiara remained perfectly perched upon her brow as it always did despite her movement.

"Indeed." She breathed, and turned her gaze to the sky above. Yet no smile flickered upon her features, she was.. oddly blank faced for all the power that seemed to radiate from her.

"I am free from the bounds of Midgard, Scarlett. The All-father hath revoked his and the Queen's oaths of me and the magic that bound me. I am free once more to come and go as I please. My power restored." She said it all without an ounce of arrogance. Without that proud demeanor that usually soaked into each word of her voice.

She lifted a manicured hand, turning it over in the sunlight before her face. Magic glowing and prickling her fingertips and twisting between them like an idle fancy.

The news bids Scarlett sit up slightly, a flex of her core muscles tightened underneath the diaphanous tunic skimming down her stomach and lapping in sunset cascades against her hip bones. She gently flicks the hemline off the snagging belt loop preventing its smooth descent, pinning the garment to the lissome curve described by the waistline. "Indeed. Your interdict is lifted, and once more you may travel to the Golden City," repeats the girl, her voice melodic as a summer morning, capturing soprano fluidity without effort. Her surreal green eyes slant upon the golden-haired sorceress, eyebrows curving elegantly in a mute inquiry. "Assuredly glad news for you, my lady, after weathering the tumult of the past year."

A year. Scarce a year ago… The very thoughts descend upon her brow, marking a solitary grey cloud on a brilliant day, and whisking away. "How hard to believe the stir of events since then. What, then, will you do with your newfound state? Would you grant me the story of how those oaths came to be released?"

Amora turned her gaze back to Scarlett, as if horribly confused as to why the woman beside her would care to ask about how the events she stated had come to pass. Then, slowly, the Enchantress sat up, a hand propping up her chin as she turned her gaze distant to some point beyond the sight of most mortals. "I released the stabilizing spell that Loki had leashed to me. I realized that Thor only shone through when those he cared for were in danger. T'was not enough for battle. Not enough to bring him out entire."

She spoke softly, though her voice carried a measure of some thick emotion that tightened her throat. Golden eyebrows furrowing as she continued the tale. "He would never be realized 'till he was forced to do so. I put myself in danger after he stated his love for me. For I knew he'd be able to stop it. In my … poor state, I could not halt the progression once it started again." A disgusted peel of her lips followd that.

"He sought out Strange. Then to the Norn Pools. He demanded an audience and got it. The Norns.. they demanded a life for a life. His mortal frame and figure for a golden apple to cure my ailment." She pinched a thread of green power from between her fingers, and slowly began to twist it around her other hand. Idle hands working at something.

"You see the Norns knew the realms needs must have Thor. The Thunderer must take his place. For it destablizes all to have him gone. It threatens to tip the scales toward Ragnarok." She pursed her lips and slowly shook her head, golden hair tumbling over her shoulders.

"He did so for me. And he died to be reborn as he should be.. and forgot all that had passed in his time here. Thusly did we travel to Asgard where I spoke to the All-father and Queen. For protecting and bringing back their son I was returned to the folds of the Aesir once more."

In the full span of discussion, Scarlett does not speak. She offers no commentary whilst Amora speaks, the gift of the skald to the storyteller anointed by the sacred trust. For in all societies praising song and story, the highest insult would be to show any hint of inattentiveness. Far be it from apprentice to show an absence of focused concentration and respect to master from apprentice.

Amora ceases to speak. For a long moment, only the distant hum of birdsong and the faraway ballad of laughter interrupts their reflection. Birds wing about in search of jeweled insects, hungry to peck away a meal while their babes in the nest expectantly wait, and fledge, and move the cycle on. On and on and on. The wheel turns.

She lowers her dark-lashed gaze against the sunshine, hand shielding her brow. "O lady. The sacrifice of self and love for a greater whole is a noble one, and a tale to be preserved against all the seasons." Softness to that speech. "What then do you wish?"

Amora dropped the thread of magic she was twisting into something that vaguely appeared to look like spinning. The arcane power vanished into nothingness and she draped her arms against her knees as she slouched forward. A miserable expression twisting her features before it was gone too, like the magic she'd toyed with.

"I desire Thor. As I always have. And he has thusly spurned me." She muttered, and there was an exhausted sort of heart break there. One that was an old ache that she so desperately tried to stretch over new ones. Fresh ones that would not leave her be.

Her jaw tightened and loosened as she worked through a surge of emotion that welled up in those green eyes and vanished.

"Kai the elf is dead. A trap laid for Loki apparently. He asked for aid. I agreed to help the poor mite. But I know not how best to seek his safety. I have worked to gather that mortal Warrior, the one with the metal arm who is broken and out of place. He claims he knows you and lives in your chambers."

"Those two know naught how to be away from trouble, nor should I expect any less. One was brewed in it, the other stained by the proximity of the steeping. You do not become the lover of the Trickster without that shadow reflecting back." Scarlett speaks so easily of such things, akin to the lectures and symposia at Columbia rather than heartwrenching developments that leave thick braids of silvered scar tissue upon the psyche and deep in the soul. Such wounds may never heal.

Mayhap they do. Who is wise enough to know?

She again returns her gaze to Amora's profile, measuring the depths of the emotion there with a calculated skill not present months past. Naught really reveals itself in that stead, save a steeped insight into the nonverbal components of communication, the hints and evidence painted over a person's face and their posture speaking volumes more than language ever will. It's a good reason to know something of masks. Many a thing. "We both know the pain cannot be so lightly spoken of, nor what futures hold. The good of the many balanced against the desires of one…" Her smile is a fragile bloom, papery and delicate, easily crushed by a thought and resilient against the span of time. "To hold a purpose matters. Hence how I ask what intentions now guide you. Mean you to return to Asgard or cement its presence here? Have, perhaps, you ever placed thought to engaging its position in the mundane realm here? I know, staggeringly dull compared to the pursuits of the art, and yet you may prove rather effective. I can only imagine you standing in a forum looking down the envoy of Latveria and reminding him that the games he plays are paltry bothers if he dares to affect you."

Amora turned those green eyes to Scarlett, those eyes that knew desires and love lost as well as any in the Nine Realms. Perhaps more so, she was after all, the self-proclaimed Goddess of Desire. She reached out a hand again and started to twist the idle threads of magic she had wound between her fingers, spinning it and twirling it around her wrist.

"No. I come only to Midgard now to see to what ends I still held here. The joys and fears of mortals hold little care to me now. Little does." She muttered, her gaze not lifting from her idle playing of magic between her fingers. "What use is toying with mortal leaders when they will perish and die so soon?" She shook her head.

"I am cut adrift. Even the trouble of Loki and his elf are mere distractions to me. I've no use for them beyond satisfying my questions in Hela's realms later."

Skeins of gold, skeins of silver, skeins of broken souls. The Soul-Thief tilts her head. Her thoughtful expression carries lines of compassion and the hard serenity brought through experience. "My lady, your travails strike a familiar chord. Think you know I not that pain? The first person had I ever given my heart to betrayed all I held dear, myself most, and abandoned me after parting the veil. In some terrible respects, the tragedy is one we share. You had your springtime with the Prince free of his duties and exiled upon the realm he cherishes so dearly. Then this, he becomes himself, and all he knew is wiped clean. Should he take a fancy elsewhere, you must stand by and watch, wishing the best, no matter what you harbour in your heart. No?"

Assuredly she knows the terrible consequences for those passions and tugs of the karmic strings by the Norn Queens. Her own choices be governed in a fashion tormented by free will, wound and bound in the furious chaos of mortality. "'This is not the bitter end, Lady Amora. It will hurt, assuredly, and then heal," she speaks with soft assurance. "Tend the wounds of your heart. Purpose may take time to appear, but it shall. Do not let your light wither for want of a focus to shine upon."

A twist of full lips follows Scarlett's words, a faint narrowing of her eyes and a silent snarl twisted her expression. "I shall never stand aside as lightly as such. Never have I. Not when he choose that mortal, or Lady Sif. Not when he was bethrothed time and again. He is the only one in all the Realms worthy of my heart and time. The only one immune to my charms and for that I love him all the more. Nay. I shall not sit and watch and wish for aught else. Not when I have time. I shall await him in the shadows if I must, but I shall. He always returns." She muttered, twisting and pinching her magic as it faded away around her wrists into a chord of thin green light.

"My wounds heal not. Never have they. They fester and shall continue to do so until the remedy I seek is applied." She muttered, green eyes never so much as lifting from her work. "I shall be his Queen or none at all."

"As you would, my lady." Scarlett refuses to argue upon that front, long experience governing her there. She raises her hands to cup around her knees, shaping a contour to her palms upon the hitch of her knees. She remains facing outwards over the floating and tumbling confectionary display in a patchwork of pink, crimson, cream, and golden dust. The violet at her back earns a fond recollection, such as it is. "Do as thou will, say the wise philosophers."

The sunshine beats down on them and somehow miraculously prevents her bistre skin from attaining any sort of scorched hue, remaining stubbornly fair as moonlight and milk in a beloved admixture. The line of her nose rises slightly higher, nudged up to catch the full brightness of the sky's blessing upon her. "I should hope, one day, to return to Asgard. For a good many reasons, but if only to once more admire its beauty. Perchance I shall discover whatever admits me once more to the library."

Amora only looked up from whatever spellwork she was idly toying with at Scarlett's words on her return to Asgard. "I had every intent to bring you as my handmaiden, should Thor have remembered me. I had every intent to return and seek your admittance to the Realm Eternal. If I were his, t'would have been an easy thing. I am.. most disheartened to loose such a chance for you."

It was the closest thing to an 'I'm sorry' Amora would allow herself, even as those green eyes remained on Scarlett. "Without the All-father's blessing, a golden apple would twist you. You would be immortal but not of the Aesir. You would hold your mind and will, but not as you are." She sighed heavily and shook her head.

"I would never seek such without the permission of he, for I would be his subject, no? One wishes not to make an enemy of a liege lord of that power or importance without immense cause, and perhaps not even then. Who am I to know of such things?" She stiffens her shoulders and stretches out her feet until they hover above the grassy lawn, her calves taut and her thighs engaged to hold herself up. The stretch contours a line up her spine and to her shoulders, allowing the shift of vertebrae to crack lightly into a perfect alignment. "Life will bring whatever it will; I can profess no promise for what lies ahead, only the prospects that gather at my feet. I would wish to know and study, learning what I might. Perhaps one who stands between the two realms as an advocate aware of Asgard's position and politics as much as our own. Tis not so much to strive for, is it? I can hardly ask to sun myself on its shores without some purpose."

Scarlett takes disappointment surprisingly well.

A shrug, a rise and fall of bare sunkissed shoulders followed from Amora. "There are other workings out there known and other realms to bid heed. I see little use in wasting your potential here on this Midgard. Its limitations are too rough a mold to keep you in, my dear. You have more than earned the right to study and learn with all the years that are denied you here." She sighed heavily, and banished her spellwoven threads of power once more.

"Yet first, we needs must see to Kai's sitation, no? I must seek answers in Hela's realm for mine own purposes. Once those are known, then.. then I shall know where to best cast my nets."

"Verily. Though what would you do with me, ere I am to expand my horizons?" A simple query, really. Scarlett keeps up that punishing asana; she gives it the ease and poise deserved. Concentration marks her brow lightly, a fine spill of lines present. "You would seek answers in Hela's realm? Our last encounter there was most unhappy, as I recall. Is it so essential to venture there so much yourself?"

Amora's lips thinned, "Thor believes that while he was here, that he was not the same man. That a different spirit resided in his frame. I believe it not, but.." Her eyelashes fluttered repeatedly and she gazed down at her lap. "I needs must know. If he were a spirit that died. One who worshipped Thor and the Aesir, then he did not die in battle. He took his own life. Which in turn, would mean he would reside in Hela's realms." She murmured, her gaze distant.

"It just so happens that Kai has died and requires aid. Thus the quest might take on both desires."

With the softest shimmer of laughter in the air, the redhead gives a nod to the clarifications. "This sounds like a wholly sensible process, then, if you would know. Pity one could not simply call the Lady of Niflheim instead of having to make that trudging descent. All that said, though, I wish you luck in finding the truth of the matter. What happens if he should be displacing a soul, or something of that nature? What are the ramifications to having a soul that sits in Hel, and he now is returned to himself?" The query leaves Scarlett's brows raised, the thought drawn out in a graceful arch of those brows, the stillness as her feet once more touch the ground. "Would that it caused something grave, I fear to imagine the consequences. How is Thor, anyways? Will he take up residence again here or has he been called away?"

Full lips pursed together into a thin line and Amora held back a heavy sigh that threatened to spill from her lips. "If… if it was another spirit that held the Princes' form then it means I loved not the Thunderer as I thought I had. I saw glimpses, so very many times, in which I thought it he. Simply the Thunderer without his memories. He was too.. he was not fit for the mortal realm. He did not understand the ways in whole. How can such a man exist to be created from nothing when Thor was cast so low? I know not.." She muttered and shook her head again, her eyebrows furrowed in thought.

"I know not what the consequences for such a thing could possibly be if it were so. How can I? Have never heard its like before. The All-father is the only one which has such strength.. but even then.." She muttered, shaking her head again.

"T'was it a piece of the Thunderer? Or no? Was it banished to Hela's realms? Was it him all along? merely trapped in a mortal frame? I have too many questions. Hence.. my need."

"I suspect only the Queen of Niflheim has those answers, if Thor or Odin cannot give counsel," says the redhead. A solid shake of her head leaves the skein of her braids, carefully arranged, around her shoulders and the peonies woven within not streaked too greatly by the movement.

"Blessings upon your travels and efforts. Be not too great a stranger to me, for you are a bridge to a time I do not wish to lose." A smile there, and Scarlett reaches her feet, brushing off her tunic. The grass and leaves tumble away. "My classes, sadly, call. Is there aught else you would know before I rush off?"

Amora shrugged, leaning back against the grass once more. "Come with me, my apprentice. Your strength is dearly needed. I know naught who I might be able to find and gather for this rather hopeless venture. Yet tis all I know. To rescue Kai before the trap can be sprung and he is yanked back to that dreadful realm. A debt would be made to the Trickster if so." She closed her eyes and then opened them once more to consider Scarlett.

The redhead glances over her shoulder to Amora. "You know you only ever have to ask. I am not for a life of idleness or boredom. Send a flower and I will come. Open a gate, I'll walk through with you. And preferably we can do so in style, no? I have a mind that, one day, we must go to Alfheim and at least let me see if there is any sort of gown they can devise that looks less like the shapeless boxes loved on this side of the Atlantic and formulate something that keeps me from causing devastation by touch, but rather by sight." Tempt the lady with fashion, really. It might even make Amora smile.

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