1964-07-19 - Horizons Far and Wide
Summary: What does an Aesir prince really want from life?
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
thor karnilla 

The weak hours in pre-dawn so oft mark a transition for the immortal Asgardians and the Aesir who rule them. The fortunate sneak off to their beds and soldiers dream of the chance to sleep while their fellows revelled the night away. Children dream. Mothers curl in against their partners, while somewhere, the All father complains to a raven about all the paperwork he has to do, and that hot English queen gets off with a staff of a thousand doing everything but her red box of papers for her.

All dwell in their places, save the Norn Queen. She sits upon the curve of a balcony overlooking the glittering array of towers, bridges, and fanciful spires that mark the city of her birth. So easily mistaken for a girl of a millennium and a half, the only clues to her exalted status lie in the very, very wide berth given by the two uneasy guards watching her tempt falling to her death. It's even more disturbing, surely, that she plies with the wind with her fingertips, gathering strands of fate into her lap and spinning them. Zephyrs utter the sweetest high tones, but it's the boreal winds she wants, those that rumble in baritone approval under the stroke of each digit.

Skillful caresses follow the curving lines of the breeze surging past this particular exposed outcropping, a perfect spot for her to perch. The deliberate pinch to catch a near invisible streamer allows her to pull that particular aerial chord back in. It might look as if she's playing air harp, except for the visual effects, a muted blur in pale blue and jade and frost, the effects as pleasing to watch as any.

A third guard joins the other two; this one wearing the heraldry of the Royal Family's personal retinue. There's a murmured conversation, and the guard moves to Karnilla's peripheral vision and bows with a polite, wary stiffness, his helmet under his left arm.

"Queen Karnilla. Prince Thor is here, and wishes to know if this is a convenient time to pay a visit," the big, grizzled soldier remarks. He's an unflappable looking sort, but Karnilla's vicissitudinous nature is well known and he isn't taking any chances with gaining her wrathful ire.

The display does not cease when the violet-haired woman turns her head. While her mortal aspect typically tones down the stranger elements of her appearance, not so here, where that plum-bruised mane constitutes nothing unnatural. "Very good," she replies to the guard, albeit the man may have to wonder if the veiled statement holds an iota of entendre for something else. The young woman has yet to engage in the casual ribaldry known to some of their lot, nor has she cast her eye and favour licentiously in any particular direction. Perhaps all the more upsetting, in a way, that her gaze remains modestly averted off his shoulder. A necessary precaution. Her fathomless eyes hold secrets of future fates and plausible destinies, and who wishes to witness their alter-egos tumble through failures or undesirable ends? "His company would be welcome."

She once again raises her arms, elbows tucked close to her stomach and hands poised about shoulder and sternum height respectively. Her movements retain their assured readiness, teasing the breeze to flow in a column according to her mercurial whims.

The guards withdraw and Thor is escorted in, flanked by Karnilla's retinue. He is dressed informally, as is his wont outside of court affairs; a sleeveless tunic of dark blue and silver, gunmetal grey trousers, sturdy leather boots. He flashes a smile at Karnilla, undaunted by her sepulchural mien, and offers a half bow— one regent greeting another.

"Queen Karnilla, good to see you again so soon," Thor remarks, as the guards retire to leave the heads of state to their business. "I hope all is well with you— and I'm not catching you at an inopportune time, am I?" he inquires, arms dangling loosely at his sides.

The two guards assigned to the Norn aren't her own. Her retinue's presence tends their own affairs in the place reserved for her as a sovereign of another nation; as such, they flit among the markets and smile to the alarmed merchants. She remains here to her own devices under watch of loyal Aesir, watching a woman garbed in a wine-dark dress spin an airy skein to witness destiny. Every shift and pull draws at the hemlines long enough to reach her ankles, spinning diaphanous sonnets from onionskin layers. Her feet are not totally bare, sandals too thin to be much more than show.

Continuing to weave, her averted gaze allows a warning when Thor comes, though other senses attend to warning far before that. Her chin dips as she adjusts her position upon the rail, one notch closer to being knocked off by a good breeze. Possibly why she snarled it, then. "Your highness," she replies in kind, not faulted for manners. "No, you scarce interrupt me. 'Tis an hour when I expect few venture this far. Do your thoughts trouble you, or have you, like I, felt some call and yearning for peaceful solitude from the demands upon you?"

"Neither," Thor confesses, with a rueful chuckle. He watches with fascination as she weaves her webs with the winds; a magic for fun, idle movements of her fingers writing a story in the air that is indecipherable to him.

"I thought we might meet socially. Outside the confines of the court and the structure of ceremony," Thor invites, lifting one hand in a passing gesture. "'tis the way of Kings and Queens to dote and dine, and make bold speeches, but I've oft found that a welcome demeanour and common ground makes for stronger alliances than pomp and circumstance. I hope you not find my attitude overly formal," he says, flashing a grin at her that'd be boyish save for the neatly trimmed beard around his sturdy jaw.

The stain of a mellow evening lingers on the wind, each note chiming for her in melodic hues that never grow too bright. Lilac joins the mix, overtaking the green as the spectrum slowly shifts. Karnilla reaches for a strand and pulls it around the mass, acting like a bright indigo thread to bind her tapestry.

"I should like that. Large affairs do not allow us much chance to speak," she agrees, pointing her toes down to the city far, far below their collective feet. "All the more restrictive when the All-Father calls his court to attend." Paved with good intentions, the road to formalized hell is at the very least pretty and golden. The multitude of straps bound around her shoulders slink towards the outer corner of her arm, and she'll sooner have to push them up before they drop away. "Welcome, ah! Riding out on a hunt is so much better than sitting rigid in a seat for hours. You have not struck me as boorish or distantly cold." The boyish grin is met by one of those faint smiles full of secrets; it's not unique to her, but simply to all her sex in the world. Women are confusing.

"Then if it pleases you, join us for the bilgesnipe hunts," Thor suggests with a beatific smile. "The young males are in a rutting mood and have little time for anything but each other, but the larger dams are scraping their horns on every tree for a hundred leagues to mark territory. I think we might find some ancient old sow as a team, though such a quarry would require a team to handle in a sporting fashion."

He props a hip against the balcony, clapsing one of his wrists loosely at belt level, and peers at her magical workings. "Might I ask what magics you work this day?" he inquires, curiously. "I know little of the Norn magics, save for the scholar's notes and what I've gleaned from Amora."

Bilgesnipes: how thrilling! Karnilla might show a look of frosty horror, and perchance it would be true did she not share the same wellspring of blood as Thor himself does. Albeit turned another few ways by the hands of the sisters three. "I shall ready my arms for the hunting horn, if that should please thine hunters." The brightened gleam of her widening, starshot eyes renders her near guileless with a sheen of excitement. A wonder she doesn't fall right off her rail. "What a tale that might make."

The idle plucking and threading creates a veritable hourglass of the constrained breeze in the watercolour hues of dusk dancing over the water. "Assuring good travel. A ship will wreck do I not, and lives lost to the reaping waves which must not be surrendered. Six will find shelter, albeit not without their hardship." Her fingers neatly pinch off a silvery line and tug back until her arm is fully extended behind her. "Seidr is but one aspect of our arcane heritage. Your father may be its surest master."

"Aye, a talent my father says is my birthright as well; though I confess that I think Loki tends to such nuance better than I," Thor admits, wryly. "Yet in the heat of battle, the sense of warp and weft flows to me. I can see the tapestry of war laid out as surely as I can wreak storms and hurricanes across the world, and feel the pelling of the hurricanes in the bluest of oceans. Perhaps 'tis a different way for each of us, how it begins, and I hope to equal such expertise on my own, in eons to come— though I think my father's passing is millennia yet to come," he says, with another wry grin.

"All in their way perceive such things." The Norn Queen invokes a sound rolling through the chambers of time, and that word becomes manifold intonations. The spell collapses upon itself, and somewhere in coming hours, those who should have ended up devoured by the depths involving some unfortunate collisions with a horde of hungry beasts will find themselves moored on an atoll instead. Blessings never to be associated with the mercurial fates or their daughter, but so be it. "Heavy rests the head that bears the crown," she murmurs, a thoughtful regard. "Better to obtain a thorough grounding in experience than be thrust unprepared upon the All-Father's throne. Else how should you find the time to do what needs to be done, such as hunts for the most exotic quarry?" Her chin lifts, laughter bubbling up as freely as any. If he dares glance through those starry gazes, does he see himself enthroned or battling to hold together the flaming towers of Asgard when Ragnarok finally comes due? Is there a hint of his golden-haired granddaughters or the vicissitudes of cosmic war or the tumble of sheets leading to an open doorway? Not even she knows what all find.

Thor is wise enough that he grins and laughs along with Karnilla— but averts his eyes as he does. Because no man should know too much of his own future. Down that road lies Odin's life; certainty vastly magnified, each step but one path towards sharply limited probabilities, always closing on the endgame on a chessboard.

For Thor, there is too much fun to be had yet.

"It is my father's duty to rule, and mine for now to be Prince. As Prince, I find it brings pleasure to my people to lead them in hunts and merrymaking; to revel and carouse, and be subject of gossip and lavish praises alike. Why not fulfill my princely duties with as much abandon as possible?" he asks, laughing merrily.

Possibilities, not certainty. For some there are invariable confluences, events that cannot be stopped. The cycle rolls and rolls on, Ragnarok forever threatening their lives. Ends will not be averted, waypoints on the flood of time. But until then, chance laces her vision and stirs itself.

"Are all so supportive of your merrymaking, or have you no pick of external conscience demanding a return to the seat of power?" Karnilla wonders aloud, turning on the rail and bringing her knees high to clear the metal bar. Her gown accordingly flows with her, the layers rippling like water around her calves, a glimmer of pale skin amidst the darker violet and burgundy hue. Once more she lowers her feet to the ground and stands, as tall and certain as a spear. "Cherish thine freedoms. For they are worthy of attention. But you be not limited to Asgard in your roving. What horizons call you?"

Thor regards Karnilla with curious speculation as she rises, and shrugs one shoulder at her question.

"All the Nine Realms, and beyond even," Thor says. "Some day I may rule, aye; it seems prudent that I should know all the worlds beyond Asgard that I will be more than champion, but all-father."

"And there are worlds /beyond/ the Nine; planets even Asgard knows not. Why not visit them as well? Learn of their ways and histories? Let them know that Asgard stands for peace and freedom, and valorous justice."

The query has been hers, and meets with Karnilla's acknowledgment in the lift of her chin, the dip of her shoulders. Her stance shifts lightly to accommodate the prickle up her soles. Try sitting suspended for a while, and naturally the lack of circulation and solid ground will have an effect. With any luck, he's not going to challenge her to a foot race. She smiles faintly at Thor, lost in her own contemplation for a time. "The universe is a rather large place. You shan't lack for space to pioneer new roads and discover places unknown to you."

The words are selected freely and not without a little humour, her mouth curving up.

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