1964-07-17 - The Girl from Asgard
Summary: Kelda and Amora come upon Karnilla in an Asgardian garden.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
kelda karnilla amora 

The gardens of Asgard have few rivaling wonders within all of the Worlds. The pride and joy of many a Tender of the Green, the sprawling acreage hosts species both native and non-native, succulent and water-loving, sentient and…those ones are planted farther away from the main paths as to avoid curious guests wandering too close.

Morning brings the sleepers from their rest and it falls upon the Lady Stormrider to make a pilgrimage into the gardens. She seeks fresh air and perhaps the shade of a tree with thick boughs in which to hide from the bright sun. It's pleasant…save for the stabbing pain in the back of her eyes when she looks upwards. Not far in, she finds her place at the roots of a broadly-spread species of tree native to another World entirely. This one has leaves of cerulean blue, with veins in lighter cyan and bark of a pleasant seafoam green. To crush a leaf or peel the bark releases a relaxing scent, reacting within the individual brain to bring forth feelings of contentment. The battle-mage leans back against it, heels tucked up beneath the spread of her dress's skirting, and watches others walk by. It's but a stone's throw from the path, this tree, so there's no hiding, especially when she chooses to wear the robes of her office, those of the pale robin's-egg blue, calling forth imaginings of snow and its shadows in noontime sun. Kelda expects no company and thus, closes her eyes and sighs.

The crunch of gravel underfoot announced Amora's presence more clearly than anything else. On her arm a basket of golden weave sat, hung with flowers and other herbs of various purchases from the market and other dubious corners of Asgard. The walk about the palacial gardens was only added to her daily sashay, for there were weeds that had magical properties that, so long as they were weeds, no one particularly minded Amora plucking for her own collections.

The blonde looked just as perfect as she could possibly appear. Golden hair woven with braids beaded in gold and green. Flowers tangled in perfect symmetry to highlight just how much a goddess of Summer, of growing things, that she could be. She was in her element, and she reeked of sweet smelling flowers and magic.

Her manner of dress was just as over the top as one could expect. A low-cut black top that was cropped off just at her middle, overlaid with a gauzy green of silk edged in golden hoops and runes. A matching skirt that draped down her front and sides with golden beading and pearls. Earrings of emerald drops dangled from her ears and a matching tiara of runic design curled around her face.

The Enchantress looked utterly content, even without the tree's scent. She spotted Kelda in the shade, a golden brow hooking upwards. "Storm-Witch, good morning."

The beautiful gardens owe their joys to the fecund nature of Asgard and the many goddesses responsible for fertility and flowers may well be responsible for that. Idunn and Freya themselves are surely most responsible, for all the joys they impart upon the city. It's not like they are particularly permitted to do anything else, save the limited number of Valkyrior and the even fewer active warriors. They need somewhere to have their creative outlet.

Deep in the gardens stand calm waters, reflection pools never any deeper than a woman's trim waist, and frequently shallower. The configuration changes, some geometric and others painstakingly natural. Rocky outcroppings thrashed to artful arrangements of metamorphic rock present just the right level of rough texture and jagged planes to meet with approval, and there the Witch Queen of Nornheim consults with the elements. Gossamer sprays of hollyhocks and gladioli heavy with blossoms bend under the weight of their own papery flowers, sparkling in jets of amethyst and wine-drenched claret. Adoration bows them heavily towards the pale-skinned maiden holding out her cupped hands in offering. Clear, dazzling water pours through her cupped fingers and upright palms, sprinkling twinkles delighting the watery naiads emerged to greet her.

Their glimmering voices are aqueous and melodic, blending around her own smoky tones. A sacred tracery of netting scoops and swirls around her, long-limbed and gracious, the entanglement of joys leaving her totally and utterly soaked. At least from the waist down, where it may even be questionable if Karnilla herself is precisely incarnated in physical form. She may well be liquid there, the splay of bobbing flowers and leaves her gown at the moment.

Upon being addressed, the Lady Stormrider opens her eyes to see…quite the vision. Amora gains a rather lengthy moment of appreciation, simply for being within her element, before receiving a respectful nod.

"Lady Enchantress, good morning." Gathering her legs beneath her, Kelda emerges from beneath the shadows of the tree, a leaf claimed as her own to carry and bruise as she walks. It wards off the aftereffects of the nectarwine she quaffed the night before. "If it is not intruding upon your person, I would walk with you. You count the Prince as near and dear, I believe," she says, rather bluntly, wearing her signature mild smile. "As his Shield-Maiden, I would learn more of him from a source not of his devising. He is…enamored with tales and spins himself to be immortal when he chooses risk over caution, no? Let us walk to the ponds. I have not yet greeted the naiads who frolic there. They are like cousins to me and my magics."

A graceful hand gestures towards the distant play of light from the disturbed waters…someone's already? Kelda squints. "We may not be the first to visit them, but still — walk with me?" She takes a few steps, her attention remaining upon Amora.

Amora tossed her hair over her shoulder, catching a leaf that drifted lazily down before her into her open palm. She crushed it, and inhaled the sweet and heady scent therein as it rose into the air. She tossed the leaf into her basket, humm'ing under her breath as if in thought of the offer to join Kelda in a walk. "I have little to keep me from joining you for the moment." She offered smoothly, shifting her basket to her other arm.

"While on Midgard the Prince and I grew quite close over the past year or so." She tilted her head to the side as she started to walk, hips swinging. "Considering he was nearly killed by his brother, and all thought him in fact, dead. I can see why he sees himself as untouchable. He would've likely perished had I not put a spell upon the hammer. One time use, mind you, to whisk him away from danger. It was all I could do when he returned to free Asgard." She murmured.

Her story was a bit broken up, by her stopping to pluck a weed freshly growing from a corner of the garden. Something small and out of place. Her attention shifted toward the pools of water ahead and she frowned, slowing her step at the sight before them.

Liquid tumbles back into the basin as aqueous hands scoop it up and toss a playful wave. Another arc intersects the first and their collision produces chaos incarnate, patterns short-lived and ephemeral. Their suspended intersections reveals possibilities to the star-filled eyes that track them, and Karnilla ducks her head right before a few droplets catch in her hair to adorn them as a coronet. One of the naiads giggles and calls out in her bubbling language, the gift of All-Speak affording translation:

"—the lady of the orchard cries when she thinks no one sees. But her sorrow is so sweet!"

No one ever said naiads weren't gossip creatures like their cousins guarding wells and babbling brooks, least of all one they see cousin to them, in a sense. Karnilla runs her fingers through the basin, ripples in their wake crashing against the slim forms tossing their wet hair and watching others. No threat of them drowning anyone nearby, not with the charms and guards, but their playfulness can be misconstrued, especially out of envy and mirth rather than actual malice. Nothing like a water spirit throwing a wave at someone traipsing through on the path…

It's unnecessary given Karnilla is well aware of others, the shifting knots and lines affording her a very good indication of what and whom come. Still, she does not depart for the water's edge and dry herself off. The deep violet and amethyst gown she wears isn't going to cause anyone to cry out in alarm or anger. Mind you, a sovereign not so far from Asgard's throne, maybe.

With her eyes upon Amora, the Lady Stormrider nods and listens to what information is granted to her as the two of them walk towards the ponds. The water ripples and Kelda herself has the distant impression of a conversation, though it is muted and while kin to her own magics, much like sister-languages with Romance origins. There's a common thread somewhere, but she'd need to stand still and consider them unless she draws closer.

As luck would have it, the Enchantress leads them to the path alongside the water and the battle-mage's smile is far more amused than mild this time around.

"Good morning, your highness," she greets Karnilla, inclining her head deeply and interlacing her fingers before the light belt about her waist. "I wondered who was conversing with the — "

SPLASH!!! Those sassy naiads strike. Kelda is left blinking and dripping of tepid yet clean water, soaked to the boning of her corset. She wipes her face and continues gamely, " — conversing with the naiads."

To say that Amora ground her heels to a halt, was an understatement. Her spine stiffened and she gazed at Karnilla, not so much as nodding her head for a period of time that was absolutely meant as an insult before she moved to do so. When she straightened she took a step back from the splashing of water by the naiads. They did not care for her, she knew that much. Of course, it likely had something to do with her frequent threats and will crushing spells she'd immplemented on them to wring out gossip and news from them whenever she wanted. And most entirely from outside the palace walls.

A sniff followed as she dusted off invisible imperfections from her silken skirts, green eyes lifting toward Karnilla. "Well, that certainly explains the babbling we heard.." She muttered dryly.

To be sure, the wave isn't going to stop at just Kelda. The playful naiads may have fear, but on the other hand, their nature is enduring, older than even the oldest of the living Asgardians. Or their bestie, Mimir, living in a well likes to rat out Amora all the time. They duck beneath the water that is their home, swirling around past Karnilla and darting wherever they care to roam. Their enchantments brush up against her own as she runs her finger along one of the brooding gladioli spears and then finally turns to the parched and the soaked, summer and winter while she claims the very essence of time to her name. The goddess of destiny offers a tinge of a smile. "Lady shield maiden, I fear yon sprites bid you welcome too directly." The casual application of a flick of her wrist sends a spinning course of diamonds gauntleting her to the elbow, dripping away. "A hazard, albeit one less than the sylphs."

The briefest of ventures passes to the once and future student, though her weighty gaze cannot be denied. To stare into those eyes is to see fates on a scale grand or small, and rarely can any glimpse be found satisfactory, lengthy, or unveiled. The stars and the weave of fate given unto her alone will always leave their mark. "What joyous company brought here today. Though such sombre tidings dull your shine, Amora? How importune, when the hospitality of the Golden City has been so rich."

Kelda laughs quietly at first at the Norn Queen's greeting, but upon looking to Amora, she falls silent. A little clearing of her throat and she speaks, still dripping pond-water.

"I am sorry that I missed speaking with you at the festivities this evening past, your highness. The Prince requested my presence at his table and I could not deny him. He was…in his cups quickly and myself as well. You were spared a rather overzealous greeting, I believe." The 'you' includes everyone present, including the Enchantress. "It did my heart good to indulge in the nectar wine of the meadhall, though my head tells me otherwise still," she admits, swiping at an errant drop clinging to her bangs.

A broad sweept of her eyebrow follows Karnilla's gaze, which Amora meets dead on. Restored to her power, and her position within Asgard's ranks, gone was the fear that had previous dogged the woman's gaze in the presence of her former teacher. Now was the return of haughty disdain. "I merely seek the dullness of a simple walk to keep my morning today," The abrupt stop of Amora's words begged the insult that rested at the tip of her tongue and was carefully tucked away.

Toward Kelda, Amora offered a rise and fall of her shoulders, "Aye, well, few can refuse him when he asks." She offered, her tones dry and not without a hint of barb. "He is vastly entertaining when into his cups. I could not attend as I had a portrait that needed posing for. T'was a gift his highness most desired and I saw little point in denying him it."

"A portrait? That is a kindly gift, given his affections for you. It will be appreciated and approved, surely," Kelda replies to the Enchantress. "He spoke fairly of you, my lady, even while in his cups. Does he always carry about those he calls his friends when indulging in mead? I have a vague memory of being hauled around like one of those lap-dogs carried by Midgardian courtiers of old."

By her expression, the battle-mage still can't decide whether to be amused or mildly concerned of this.

Amora fluffed her hair with a manicured hand, golden bracelets jangling about as she moved her wrist. "Aye, tis done by a very skilled elf. I am most pleased with what I have seen of it thus far." She murmured, her ruby lips pulling lightly at the corners of her mouth into a hint of a smile. "And aye, during celebrations, his highness does not enjoy being surrounded by merely the court."

A pause followed, green eyes gaze tilting over Kelda for a moment. "Of course, most of the court is counted amongst his friends and allies, so by extension.. well.. a goodly amount of people always trail after him." She added after some consideration.

The naiads whisper in their terms quietly to the Norn Queen; whilst the others cavort in the conversation, she has to bend her ear in that direction. It may be particularly slow for her to return in a moment's notice. Yet, she's aware.

A rather unladylike little snort. "Yes, I was very aware of the Prince's dislike for the diplomats. Though, 'dislike' is a strong word. Perhaps 'disinterest' seems more fair," Kelda amends as she brushes clinging water from the lacing of her corset. Thank goodness for the warmth of the sun to avert any chill. Still, it means returning to the quarters drenched yet again. She has the curse of never-dry, apparently.

"It must be tiring to be attended at all times, like some kennel-master with the hounds who sniff at his boots and bay for scraps of affection. I cannot imagine it. I would weary of it quickly," admits the battle-mage, her attention then momentarily diverted for the whisperings of the naiads. Hmm? What now?

Amora did her best to seem as if she were ignoring Karnilla and the naiads, though in reality it was anything else. Green eyes which appeared to be focused on Kelda, flickered every so often back to the splashing, burbling waters and her former teacher. "Tis why he enjoys Midgard so much, I think. There he frequently can be simply Thor. And aid the mortals that he so adores. There are guards and servants, aye, but not the court." She waved her fingers as if to be dismissive of the gathering of nobility and diplomats.

"Such an escape cannot last forever, and he knows it. So I believe he takes full advantage of slipping away when he can."

The bright chord of conversation holding Karnilla fast lasts but a short time longer. One of the naiads freezes as she kisses the wet cheek, and sends her upon her way, the splash leaving no ripple at all in the natural pool. It quite easily falls to her to retreat to a ledge where she sits, her dark hair wet from the pool. Give her a comb and she might be Melusine of yore, the mother of dynasties and European myths. But then, aren't they all? She neatly twists the ends and a full rivulet streams out to rejoin the crystalline waters from whence they came. Another step and she rises out, nudged along as the falling currents take shape into a slitted skirt reaching to her ankles rather than a panel of living liquid spun of nothing. The foaming bubbles enshrine her bare feet with a ring of fine chain; just as Kelda is never dry, so she is always a little at one with her chosen element. A measured smile shapes itself. "An entourage takes away the privilege of privacy as surely the Crown Prince knows. One cannot begrudge him the desire to do good without persistent observation of his well-wishing subjects or aficionados. No doubt he enjoys those moments to pursue his own quests in such company as the Warriors Three or other boon friends."

"The Prince did mention a visit to Midgard sometime soon in the future. I look forwards to attending should he grant permission for me to do as such." The battle-mage still can't meet Karnilla's eyes and nor does she want to. Hear-say is more than enough to make the mage chary. She instead considers the bubbling about the Norn Queen's ankles. "I hear such things of the mortals and the growth of their society in my time of absence."

An imperious roll of her shoulders follows and Amora glances side long toward Karnilla as the Queen steps out of the water and speaks. "Such is the way of the court." She murmured, her posture oozing every ounce that Amora could squeeze out of the concept that she was the fairest in all the Nine Realms. Regardless of the crown that Karnilla kept all on her own. Amora held onto that confidence as if it were a blanket to keep her from her former Mistress' searing insights.

"And I am sure that Thor will be more than happy to introduce you about to the mortals there. Their society is much changed from your time. It is very entertaining." Amora, perhaps more than any of the other Aesir, save Loki had been forced to become familar with the mortal realm countless times since Kelda had been away. Banished neigh regularly for the past several centuries for short bursts was always her way.

Water to a duck's back, with the spritely queen. For she is the lotus blossom opened by the moon, a blue shade rarely captured in nature, and completely certain of herself. "When you doth learn of thy liege's will upon the matter, Lady Storm-rider, such wonders shall be open to thee." The artful and archaic form of speech is outright uncanny coming from someone who looks to be in her fifteenth century, if that, her hands laced easily in front of her and posture fair. "When did last you descend to Midgard?"

Flip stations and her nature alters as easily as any, mutable and malleable. Her smile is sweet enough. "The unexpected can be the sweetest of fruit, and they are fascinating in their right. Why, I would speak more, but it would wound me to spoil your reactions by telling you rather than permitting you to see for yourself."

Kelda sighs. "I was last upon Midgard over three thousand years ago, by the Prince's estimation. Mind you, this was an estimation within the merry influence of mead and laughter. Regardless…I find myself intrigued, if not mildly apprehensive. I greatly appreciate any insight either of you wish to give." The battle-mage looks between the two women, interlacing her fingers over her belt once again. She's drying quickly now. Perhaps she'll even be able to return to her quarters no worse for the wear and draw gossip in the vein of swimming with the naiads.

Amora kept her gaze upon Kelda, though by the tilt of her body it was clear she wasn't going to completely dismiss Karnilla in the least. A hand settled on her hip and she hooked a golden eyebrow upwards. "I know not when you were last on Midgard, so I cannot confirm or deny what his highness said." She tossed her hair over her shoulder in a languid motions and a sigh pulled from her lips.

"It is still a realm dead to proper magics like the other realms, but it has developed its own, as it always had. They're the same bundle of conflicting concepts as they always were." She waved her hand dismissively, her feelings on the matter of Midgard at best were far more negative than Thor's could ever be.

"Anyways, this is all very enjoyable, but I do have other parts of the garden to see. Shall we continue our walk?"

"Delightful. Such advancements await you!" sings the plum-tressed maiden, tipping her head back as the spill of her water diamond coronet glitters on those locks. She's in need of a comb to set herself perfectly to rights. The hazy glory of those immensely dark, luminous jewels shared among all Asgard's towers and spires warrant their own regard. Lengthy, yes, for there are splendours throughout the cosmos and none quite so suited in their excellence to the Aesir soul as the Aesir lands themselves. Save, perhaps, those reserved for its far-flung queens. "It is not entirely so devoid of magic. No, its own traditions persist in a certain subtlety even in this age when they turn to science to explain their miracles and divine their futures. 'Tis an unfair comparison to presume it is so barren when in fact it teems with burgeoning promise for any capable of tapping them."

Kelda manages another mild smile, though her eyes never rise from Karnilla's throat.

"I shall look to the day that I return to see what wonders await me. No doubt they have evolved dramatically since the time of iron and fire that I once knew. I…they called me a goddess then. I wonder if they would do so still, now that so very many years have passed." She shakes her head, her sheet-like white-blonde hair glistening.

"I would be happy to accompany you, Lady Enchantress," she says, looking to Amora and fully upon her face. "You were kind enough to divert from your gathering as it is. Your highness," and the battle-mage offers the Norn Queen a deep curtsy-bow, some perfectly-odd amalgamation of the courtly responses. "I expect to see you again. Enjoy your time with the naiads." Kelda eyes the pond (and its hidden inhabitants) dubiously for a moment before falling in alongside Amora once again.

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