1964-10-12 - Asgard Aflame: Fandrakvida II
Summary: A little matter of dealing with Laufey, the king of Jotunheim, goes from bad to explosive.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
rogue strange kai bucky 


Jotunheim's palace is a honeycomb of ice and quartz, huge facets flung upwards in staggered, faceted sheets. Cleaved planes reflect visions and images at distances, distorting and warping any sense of what lies within the chambers. Unfair to suggest the place is a hexagon of any sort, the only common quality that a huge pillar of blue-white fire races up the central shaft of the aggregated building to the roaring blizzard overhead. Stormclouds surge in a tremendous low, rotating around the eye-wall filtered through by cyan and slate inclusions. Mist sublimating from within adds a certain nebulous obscurity originating from the very makeup of the walls themselves.

Those who move about in their finery are gigantic and the place is built to a jotun's scale — and not the muddy wretches who sought protection on Midgard, those who see a Volkswagen as a soccer ball, putting even Thor to humbled state by their scale. Roaming as they do, the chattering clash of their language wages an assault on the ears, especially to those not gifted with All-Speak. The cadence skims high and low, excitement rolling throughout.

"«…another display. Superb.»"

"«About time. It's the only entertainment worth having since the trolls went out.»"

"«You were expecting grand processions? It's wartime. Soon, Klaveh, soon.»"

|ROLL| Kai +rolls 1d20 for: 8

There's a saying Kai knows: if you're going to be a bear, be a grizzly. No doubt to Bucky's dismay, he makes his way straight to the right of the pillar, to the thicker congregation of fancy giants. He is, himself, a fancy elf; he knew it would be important to dress for the occasion! From gran's tutelage, he knows how to carry himself pristinely. Would she be proud or infuriated to see he can do it after all and just doesn't want to?

The key is acting like one belongs, not to mention as though one knows what one is doing. While he waits for his turn, he keeps an ear open. Wartime? This is interesting. Then again, from what he knows of these giants, wartime might well be a constant. Who are they fighting, though? He listens for clues, all the while standing in plain sight, quite confidently.

Kai's out there, brave soul. Winter….he's ensconced himself in a fold of ice and stone. He's back to the rifle, and he's letting the scope's viewpoint roam. He doesn't know whose fault this all is - Kai is going to have to bird dog it for him. No opening up on these giants until he can tell who the necessary target is.

One doesn't simply walk into Mordor Jotunheim. Ghostly reflections of Kai signal his arrival long before he emerges in the flesh. Spectres haunt him, possibly figments and certainly corporeal at some point. He's got a parade of looks going his way, mutters, a cackle of laughter.

The fancy giants are uniformly blue-skinned, one and all, though blue is a bit of a misnomer. Icy pale, ashen blue, slate, palest celandine, even a cornflower strain decorated by tattoos and scarification: it's a full spectrum of the bitter, chilly end of the spectrum. Their conversations in grinding Jotun clash on the teeth, grinding to the ear in ways human physiology can't replicate. And all those basso snarls and rumbles reach a fever-pitch whence Kai marches into town. "«Who is the knife-ears? Puffed up peacock, he is.»" That from perhaps the most elaborately dressed of the giants, a towering figure cresting above the rest by a good two feet. "«Shall we have him for feasting?»"

"«An elf, by the looks of it,»" drawls another voice… with an Aesir accent, that belongs to a very clearly Aesir man behind a wall of giant-flesh. Bleached out hair might be blonde, and he, too, wears the dullest of greys in a matte armour quite unlike anything of furs and bones and leather so beloved of the larger race. Stroking his goatee, the speaker says, "«One of the light. Hardly worth your time, Majesty?»"

"«I will judge. Who is he that comes? What has he to offer me?»" the giant snaps.

Thank the gods for a little borrowed heat. Tucked close about his body, the radiant warmth of his own body sticks closely, lending a hint of a mirage about his features. The crimson Cloak is a tiny bit of a problem in blatant coloration, but only before he flits down from the turbulent swirl of wintry weather around the icy citadel and lands. Cloak of Many Colors — Joseph can be jealous. Fracturing like the ice itself, the red bleeds away to be replaced by a glacial translucency to the fabric, illusion that lends disguise in turn. Is that…a hood? Dandy thing, that Cloak. Greys upon blues and shadowed face allows him the ability to slip behind enemy lines. This isn't the time for the fireworks — not yet. That'll come later, when enemy positions are sussed out and the others located.

Is that? It is. Carefully, he wraps a gloved hand about Scarlett's upper arm and quickly pulls her to the shadow of one of the leaning stalactites of ice. "We shouldn't linger out here any longer. With me, Lady Autumn," he whispers close to her ear, adrenaline-laced laughter to be found in the tone of voice. Ah, humor to ward off the very real risk they take. Surely she'll feel the winter-melt of an illusory spell wrap about them as easily as a blanket against the chill. The Jotun giants aren't expecting two little (read: very dangerous) doormice to slip past their glaring purview of the wide bridge; no, they're expecting what may come to be in the near future much farther inside of the palace.

It's no warmer within and he's quick to spot Kai, affecting an impeccable air — the Winter Soldier has no doubt holed up somewhere with weaponry in hand. Still with a gloved hand as link between them, he tucks himself into another shadow to observe.

"If you've got clever ideas, I'd love to hear them," he murmurs, keeping his voice quite low. "I can't find a single signature of the damned Hammer anywhere. It's well-hidden and does that Elf know what he's doing?" Strange glances to the Bohemienne with concern clear on his features. Someone speaks in something other than giant-grumble and he cranes his head within the illusion of invisibility to see…gods be damned, an Asgardian?! "What in the seven hells is he doing here?!" His eyes flick back to Scarlett again, checking to see if she too recognizes the man. "Fandral," he breathes, looking back. The Jotun addressed as 'majesty' is marked too and the Sorcerer's eyes narrow.

The dark, unrelenting curve of that smile is tinged in ice, as is the hair. It's not warm here and those not endowed with the superhuman fortitude to deal with subglacial temperatures ought to shiver. Her clothes, being leather, don't crackle but they show the bombardment was at least partly successful. Tears here show bare skin, pristine, through a net of golden mesh. Scarlett gestures slightly, raising her eyebrow in a decidedly condescending fashion. "Out of creative solutions already, doctor? I suppose it says much about Midgard."

The response is bitingly acerbic, spilled over by the driest wit, and the corner of her mouth traces upwards in an arc almost reaching a feline smile. Save that smirk indents the pain and grandeur bordering on megalomaniacal. Under one illusion, the shrug speaks volumes. "They'll give me what is my due or I'll show them by usurping Father's place."

Kai politely pays no attention to the suggestion that he be eaten. He knows he's delicious. Which is why he relaxes some when he sees a man of Aesir proportions who seems to be on speaking terms with the person in charge around here. He steps forward, and he bows lowly and with great respect. Hey, it's their house, he's just a guest in it.

His Jotun comes flawlessly, with an Alfheimian accent mingled with Midgardian English. «Your most regal Majesty.» His bearing, prideful to the others, is polished yet humble before the big guy in charge. «I come with an inquiry regarding the potential merging of our realms with realms of an alternate plane.»

Sure, he has no right to even ask a King what's up, but up til he saw the Aesir, there was no one he could ask who might not try to eat him, and now it's too late, so he just rattles off the words Allspeak translates for him and gives the blond man a 'help me out here' look.

So many people have done so much work on Bucky Barnes. But like an old house, some stuff just can't be fixed. Bucky's letting his eyes roam in hopes of finding a clear shot on that king….or the Aesir, if he proves to be the problem. Only to find his gaze trapped by that column of blue fire. Entranced, in fact, and passive. Just waiting for one of those shock treatments, since it hurts so much less if you don't fight…

The only Aesir in the cluster of giants attending upon his sublime blue majesty falters only for a moment. Then his laughter soars to fill the hall, a tenor clashing off the lower, shuddering rumble. Not all those laughs are friendly, many foretelling violence. That's what giants are: violence in a big, muscle-bound body.

"«And does the elf have a name?»" the monarch asks, his dreadlocks swaying off his great head as he palms at the spear-head plug rammed into his lobe.

"«What kind of entertainment do you propose to offer us?»" asks another giant at his side.

The Sorcerer, with attention drawn by the sudden change in tone, is first silenced by his own surprise. His eyes drag up and down and when they finally return to the face, they lock on to those greens that sparkle with all the charisma of sea-ice's depths. Beautiful and yet cause for a frisson of concern. It's been some time since he's seen that and…frankly, clever girl.

"I'm in agreement. Let's make an impression." Beneath the veiling of invisibility, the air suddenly begins to heat. A palm held before himself with fingers curled is now alight with a scintillating silver-blue flame, absolutely Mystical in origin, vertiable Greek-fire tamed to his will. "Let's see how they respond to some diplomatic heat…and have a little faith in me, hmm?" He gives the illusioned young woman a sharp curl of a smirk, his own absolutely Cheshire. "Onwards — with aplomb, I think, and a good deal of showmanship."

Dropping the veil comes with the fritzing click-snap of magic loosed, like wires dropped upon wet ground, and the two tall magicians step forth into plain view of the court and its proceedings. Even as eyes fall upon them, that wintry-hued Cloak billowing behind his brisk pace is bleeding into the signature crimson hue. A subtle gesture about his sternum, beneath the Eye hanging at his neck, and the Allspeak spell woven into his tunic comes fully into play rather than simply translating; now his own English will carry just as clearly in those frosty halls and shift appropriately to the language at hand.

"«I come with more than inquiry,»" Strange interjects, keeping the handful of Mystical fire carefully contained within his curled fingers. "«I find it less than entertaining to discover the incursion of Jotenheim into my world and my dimension. You get one chance to mitigate this and then I will act since I have no other choice in the matter. The gloves will come off.»"

Was that…a pun leveled at Scarlett, now wearing a most shocking illusion as the younger Prince of Asgard proper?

…it was.

"Faith in you? Do I look like one of your little apprentices, bawling in their lessons?" The barbs pressed into a man's pride clamp down, allowing no escape without pricking something. Shoulders square almost lazily and the cold, mirthless light in emerald eyes ignites the Trickster's crooked smirk all the more. "I've plenty enough in myself."

Such is the arrogance displayed by the Aesir in full grandeur, the bitter espresso sheen of slick hair carelessly thrown back from his brow and the cocky, take-no-prisoners gait defiant in its possession of self and purpose. Leathers in black and saturated sylvan hues pale before the arc of gold acting as torc and design, the All-Father's horned and winged helm borne with abject boredom. And if there's but the faintest pallor to that unaged complexion that one finds appealing here, purely trick of the light. He might well bother with a golden spear another time, for all he's shorter by more than a torso length to the average full-grown giant.

"«I don't really see what all the fuss is about.»" A careless glance around confirms, yes, lots of people in the seats stepped around them and a paling of the Aesir who clearly knows whom he is.

Kai expects cruel laughter from the brutes, but his attention is fixed on the King. «I am Hjuki Magnison.» Yeah, not going to bank on his father's name, but will instead take his grandfather's. Eyvindr isn't someone he wants to be associated with, for all that he's his son, and I offer you—»

Whatever entertainment he was going to offer, the Sorcerer Supreme and Scarlett, thieves of thunder, cut him off. He had this! «Or I can step aside and let you entertain what these two have to say.»

And their hidden backup, the long gun in the ice? Trancing out completely. Bucky's lost in some reverie, the masked face turned blindly to the blue fire at the center of all of this, his hands slack on the rifle, head drooping forward like a junkie on the nod.

"«Go fetch that creature dozing on my wall. A spy in my palace?»" A dismissive gesture from the frost giant dispatches another to go awaken Bucky from his nice little nap. Apparently that hasn't gone without notice, perhaps hinting he has eyes in the back of his head figuratively and literally. The larger, greyer-skinned brute uses efficiently long strides to close the distance. Bucky may well wonder why he's clapped in manacle-light fingers if he doesn't react.

«Who?» That seems to be the predominant response to Kai's mention of his name, be as it may.

The flashfire contained in Strange's cupped hand gains another mote of brilliance for the complete sincerity behind his earlier statement. He is absolutely ready to throw down in this bastion of hoarfrost and chill. The grit of teeth behind thin lips brings his cheekbones into high contrast and his expression is frankly hostile. His attention follows the giant's approach to a niche in the wall and — there, that's where Barnes has been hidden.

"«Assuming you are a proper host, Laufey, I request that the man be brought to me. I will administer what punishment I deem necessary as Sorcerer Supreme of Midgard for his incursion. The Elf will speak further in my stead.»"

As an aside, he murmurs to Scarlett-in-disguise, "Be ready, they're sure to react. Lethal force as necessary. Mjolnir isn't present."

Indifference passes quick enough over the cool face dismissing one figure after another. Dragged into the middle of their little courtly arrangement, the younger prince of Asgard — raised so very high — expresses nothing but bridled amusement and contempt by turns. He uncrosses his arms and offers his hand. "«Let us affirm our alliance and be done with it before these vermin make me lose my appetite.»"

No gloves in this guise. No gloves in the other. Beneath the layers of eldritch spindrift lies the poison of a lifetime, the Soul-Thief incarnate. He cannot look to Kai. He cannot look past to where mortal lives hang in the balance, or see himself.

Kai inclines his head to Strange, and he turns his attention back to Laufey, still casting the Aesir a 'help a brother out' look. Come on, blondie, he's dyin' up here. «As you can see, Your Majesty, tempers are high, and it is in the best interest of all parties involved to work out an arrangement. My colleague is Midgard's Guardian, and he takes his job very seriously.»

A glance is cast toward Bucky, and without missing a beat, he says, "Oh, he's mine. He was supposed to be keeping watch over me." He affects a bland expression to see his personal guard falling down on the job. «In any case, Your Majesty, this incursion will bring destruction on a level no one wants.»

The giant sent to get him has no trouble at all, Bucky's limp and dreaming, as if he were asleep. At least until he's grasped by the Jotun. Then he comes awake in a hurry, head snapping up, a knife too blackened to flash in the chamber's icy light suddenly in his hand - trying to stab the creature in the wrist, open the cold veins that run there.

Things seem to be taking a turn for the worse here diplomatically. With the Midgardian assassin exposed and caught and Laufey giving the Elf a look that could kill, it's not good. The blonde man, in his ashen-grey garb and solemn silence off to one side of the Jotun monarch, seems to take in a deep breath and commit to something. Perhaps the others, involved in the stand-off, might catch the glint of bluish light from a long, keen blade drawn from his belt. The giants certainly won't, not caught up in the incipient diplomatic snark-fest.

He whirls, does Fandral, and even as the blade slams true into the back of Laufey's thigh, his cloak is curling about his frame, greyer than a wash of silt on choppy water. Mayhaps the circulatory system runs similarly in the Jotuns as in humanoid beings? If so, that might be a lethal hit to the femoral artery from behind.

«FOR ASGARD!!!» He cries, clarion and impassioned, even as the rippling realization of traitorous actions brings the court to bellowing.

"That'll do it!" Strange's shout is lost to the sudden rumbling of the icy floor underfoot, Jotuns shuffling and drawing weaponry. He dances a good number of steps away from Scarlett and Kai before lifting into the air. The handful of spellfire is thrown to the ground and even as he lifts both hands up in summoning, he's speaking an Eldritch language. In a sparking conflagration of scything spectral light and writhing scales and multi-headed, dagger-toothed radiance, a three-headed Mystically-composed Pyredra suddenly rises from the thick wall of mist formed by its presence alone. Each head is the size of a tractor, the eyes bulbous white and flaringly blank. Sharp teeth snap, one-two-three, and then comes the tritonal yowl.

Have fun with this one, ice giants. Immediately, every non-Jotun is set upon by at least one of the court attendees.

|ROLL| Bucky +rolls 1d20 for: 5

|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d20 for: 5

Is he not bothering to reach for Loki's hand? So be it. Let it not be said the young All-Father does not offer the olive branch before committing an act of devastating treachery. Oh, it's not the hamstringing by the blond Aesir god in matte armour. Nor the Sorcerer balancing the scales to avoid him dirtying his hands. Forget the assassin shaken awake in a slumber and the attempts at diplomacy by an elf — why an elf, the annals of Jotunheim will never know.

Because the god of lies loses that smile, irritation still inscribed in every tense joint. And rather than draw Laevateinn or command some terrible spell, he does what almost every giant can possibly appreciate. He dives in, as if his six and some feet would ever contest against Laufey, King of Jotunheim. Fandral's already spilled first blood. The Soul-Thief slides through a guard and slams bare hands into flesh wherever she can find it.

Kai touches fingertips to his pendant, and it splits, unfurling into a pair of knives. When one type of diplomacy fails, best switch to the other kind one knows. "Did you just stab the King of Jotunheim?!" he says with a laugh to Fandral. He finds himself unable to look at Loki. It's too strange, and just a heated glance might feel like cheating.

"Bucky!" he calls as he proves himself to be a whirling, poingy, light-footed pain in the ass to get hands on. Wakey wakey, Buck! The fun's just beginning.

He rakes the knives down the thigh of the Jotun set upon him, possessed of a skill he rarely shows outside of handling those weapons. Namely because the weapons themselves know how ot fight.

He's awake now, and furious. It's hard to tell, considering his face is hidden behind mask and goggles. But he's fighting to be dropped by the Jotun who has him in hand. The knife sinks in, but it's only a flesh-wound….and the other hand is reaching for the machine pistol hanging at his nape. All the better to try and unload it into the Jotun's face. So much for being the sneaky assassin.

The gap-fanged mouths of the Pyredra find homes in various places on Jotun bodies; their weaponry, be it formed of metal or ice, fails to return blows on its scaled hide. Deflected, sparks fly further upon impacts, sizzling into deathly silence on the ice floor and creating dangerous pockets before the melted water refreezes within a heartbeat.

Strange is high above it all, arms spread wide with each palm still containing a marble-sized orb of radiance in the white-blue-fire that composes the Pyredra below. He has the reins on the summon well in-check. It won't idly snap at anyone considered friend. The crimson Cloak will act as shield in case of projectiles.

Fandral dances through the sweeping of Jotun blades, his own daggers coated in the blood of the frost giants. «Mind your guard, Elf!» The only comment Kai gets before he's brutally kicked in the back. The Aesir slides across the floor before coming to a stop against a nearby ice step, groaning and cursing up a breathless storm.

Scarlett has her work cut out for her, taking down the already knifed frost giant king. Laufey is no mere giant, but a scourge of the realms, bitterly cold and prepared to hurl her away with a violent swing of his arm. So Loki might appear to be slammed against the ice wall hard enough to spread cracks throughout its body, the puffs of debris raining down in a shower and bouncing away. The illusion maintains the excellent choice of clothes; leather holds up well, and that glistening golden torc flashes almost mischievous in the night. A cheshire cat smile for the rising prince, seething greener-than-green eyes in common between woman and Asgardian. Might make someone wonder of bloodlines…

… then the Trickster's in brutal motion again, soaring airborne in a way that Loki himself probably lacks. But that explosive burst of motion holds all Scarlett's trademarks, swing around evasively to avoid a shattering burst of icy lances that leave absolutely no doubt of a horrible truth: Laufey's a fucking sorcerer too.

A snap of bullets make excellent retorts for admittedly very thick skin. Jotnar are rightfully feared as the only real competitor for Asgard. The warriors ride in formation against the giants raising their frosty fists defiantly. Forged weapons and energy blasts have limited efficacy. But knowing where weak points are relatively helps, even scaled up to fifteen feet. Bucky's going to be a gory mess until he gets himself down.

Kai's knives make helpful intervention many, many yards away. They dance and twirl, slicing into the lesser guards. Yet the damn blue-white column sings its hypnotic melody while the giants drop into relative formations, striking back.

It causes cognitive dissonance to see Loki move like Scarlett. Kai has to look away. It's too, too weird. It distracts him long enough get his furred hood captured by the giant grabbing at him. He's hoisted, but as vicious as a cornered rabbit, he lashes out, stabstabstab in the hand and stabstabstab to the wrist, and more stabbing. Relentless, angry stabbing until the giant's hand is bloodied and it reflexively drops the elf into a pile of 'oof' on the ice.

He pushes his hood up from his face and looks around. The giants are falling into formation. That can't be good. Gazing up at Strange, he calls, "Do we have a plan?!" For himself? He fights his way toward Fandral. The man with the balls to staf Laufey in his own court must survive long enough to have a drink bought for him.

The angry-rat chatter of the machine pistol sputters to a halt. No time to reload. Bucky's still trying to get the jotun holding him to relinquish his grip, hacking at it with that long knife. He's been spattered in blue giant blood, and only wipes it hastily off mask and goggles. Fee Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of an American, it seems.

Where one giant falls, another happens to take its place. Their blasts are flung with cruel precision or wide bursts of effect, mist and snow summoned from the immense blizzard overhead. Rolling shadows congeal into long shards stabbed down from overhead or flung sideways in hands of ice. There's always more where that came from, even if the fire-hydra gnashes through one burning body that throws blue-violet pyroclastic blood everywhere. Even if Bucky drops another of the guard to the ground, steaming heat and frigid cold blurring those Siberian memories, eh?

"Get out of here alive?!" The Sorcerer shouts back above the battle-din, his hands suddenly taking on different puppeteer motions. The Pyredra shakes one Jotun like a demented ragdoll before tossing it back at the line formation attempting to defy it. Another resonating cry and it charges on its two hind legs, lacking forelimbs at all to help its case. The long, whippy tail leaves slicing slag-strikes on the floor in its wake. The front line collapses under its onslaught and then swirls up around it, hacking and throwing what it can against the summons. "SCARLETT!" Strange hopes against hope that she can hear him as he bellows, "STEAL HIM AND GET OUT!!!"

With every hack of Jotun weaponry, his control on the Pyredra diminishes, increasing the chances that it goes entirely…rogue.

Fandral's quick as possible to get to his feet and finds his way back to back with Kai, blades flashing and deflecting what he can. The whift of icy magic thrown their way means he needs to execute a ridiculous ducking maneuver, but emerges unscathed. «You fight well for an Alfheimian!» A Jotun yowls as his dagger finds purchase and emerges from a meaty trunk.

The mad laugh gone gritty comes out all right, sadly in Jotun. "«That's not Laufey!»" Nothing changes about the source of it, the Trickster prince in hand as the giant slides to its knees under the tainted touch that sends him down. Staggered, more than likely, to the fingertips clawing for his chest and face. "«Like father, like son. Fucking shapeshifters.»"

Scarlett in Asgardian clothing unleashes a heel hook spin, mostly to dodge the Pyredra colliding with the quartz-reinforced wall and throw not-Laufey into the line of attack. It only aids hurling the giant into the charged, sonic wail rattling up, up, up into the heavens, spinning the storm up with a fury incandescent for all they're exposed to it. Lightning crawls through the shattered carapace and bursts into the chamber, dancing furiously over ice and bodies.

That's electricity on a wide scale.

"They're dwarvish blades!" Kai calls back. "They'd never tolerate me bungling them." Back to back is a good strategy, Kai sticks with it. "Do you know a way out?" he asks. "Apparently we're trying to get out alive." He gestures to his friends, to show who 'we' are in that statement, then kneecaps a giant violently with the pommel of his dagger, then slicing an Achilles' heel. "We might disappear, but I don't want to leave you behind!" Hack, slash, stab. He looks delighted, does Kai, to be in the thick of a fight. Peacenik fail.

The Soldier's darting around trying to cut tendons, bouncing from giant to giant, trying to keep out of range of the return blows. Someone's going to get him eventually. "The hammer is in the column of light," he yells, voice rendered harsh and distorted by the mask. "Has to be." He's lost the hood and his hair is loose, whipped by the wind present. "Get it!"

Electricity makes pretty short work of the body bounced around in its chaotic drop down the shaft. Laufey that was, he's not anything but charred wreckage now if anyone bothers looking too closely. Ozone coats the air and raises the hair of anyone unfortunate not enough to have it tethered down in dreadlocks or a helm.

Savage cries race overhead. It's all within the wit of a Sorcerer Supreme to understand the huge sorcerous potential of the current of energy, to feel the webbed storm that interlinks with so many things. A great, dangerous font… just right for fueling the merger of realms. Phasing in and out.

|ROLL| Bucky +rolls 1d20 for: 6

The Pyredra succumbs to the cataclysmic contact with the crystal wall. Its wailing screech is lost to the sound of the unleashed lightning darting freely about the hall with wicked licks of power. Strange is hit with the backlash of his own spell collapsing and an abrupt turn-about is proof of the Mystical impact. Blinking heavily and daubing at a now-bleeding nose, he stares at the chaos unleashed.

Laufey's gone, but this new threat has a familiar taste of ozone and Asgardian magic — or some kissing-cousin to it.

He's quick to flit down and yet beyond range of the tendrils of sparking might. "It's there! Someone get the Hammer!!!" He can barely feel the palms of his hands as is; the numbness has set into his nerves and while they conduct the Arts, they twitch errantly. "BARNES, GRAB IT!!!"

«Fear not for me, Elf, yon Sorcerer shows inclinations to leave naught in this madness but those guilty of infringing upon our rights to life!» The blonde Aesir stays as far back as he can, lit by the flickering storm of the room, his eyes wide in shock. «…I hope?!»

Nine realms suspended from a tree shudder to the forces bestowed upon them and only the stolen knowledge in her skull reveals any truth to the Soul-Thief. Loki. Jotnar proxy, decoy. With those rhythms of awful knowledge pounding in her skull, a sublime chorus mocking her, the Trickster enmeshed in perpetual illusion systematically tears through the crowd. That one's markings are wrong. The one brought down by gunfire bleeds wrong. Scarification doesn't match the pattern, the plugs are different, furs are flipped. She hunts the way a shark does, diverting at random angles, barely cognizant of the endless flow necessary to maintain her altered state. Burning flames and lightning block her way, force her back, but she's hunting down a man. Wolf in sheep's clothing as it were.

"«Father! O father, where art thou? There's a reckoning between us, don't you know…»" That voice bends and ripples, roiling upon itself, Jotnar to Old Norse and in the cadence of a very refined Englishman. Soaring hymns of spells roll to and fro.

Kai has a hard time looking at Scarlett, seeing his beloved's image used so. It's infuriating, heartbreaking. «That's not the Prince,» he hisses at Fandral. He has to tell someone. And perhaps discuss with Rogue the fact that Loki is trying to clear his name and this shit does not help. «I know the Prince. That isn't him.» Stab. STAB STAB STAB. Oh, he hasn't forgotten about you Mr. Giant. With a snarl, he lunges after one and sinks a knife into his calf, then twists. To. Hell. With. This.

Grab it. Like it's a fly ball in a baseball game. The hand of flesh will have to do - the metal arm isn't quite locked up by the surges of electricity, but it's already behaving unreliably, the plates raising themselves like ruffled feathers, exposing the works beneath. "Are you kidding, Strange? It's in the middle of fucking lightning. I can't handle the electricity I've got, let alone that. How do I shut it down?" He's managed to reload the Skorpion, and here in this field of magic and medieval weaponry, he's apparently decided to knock down as many as he can…..heading back for the rifle left in the niche. If he can get some distance, get to the fringes of the fight, he can bring it back into play.

He succeeds, enough to take up his former place and start aiming for eyes and heads. Closer than he was to the column of lightning - it there are little threads of electricity crawling over the arm, like blue glow worms.

|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d100 for: 58

|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d25 for: 10

Barnes isn't wrong. That column of lightning is a hellacious sight. Scowling up a storm, Strange wipes his sleeve under his nose again and sniffs. Ugh, blood tastes terrible.

"Then catch, Barnes!" The Sorcerer in the crimson Cloak flies as quickly as he can through the sparking chaos of misty half-clouds and errant lightning. On the opposite side of the column, he beings to gather power between his scarred palms. It's a neutral bolt, a lucky shot, cast directly into the tornadic flash. The ringing sound of clashing magics impacting carries into bones and teeth and there — arcing through the air with a metallic disturbance, an Uru-metal hammer with a leather-wrapped haft and wrist-sling at its base.

«Great Odin's Raven, that's — » Fandral is speechless for a second. «Thor's weapon!!!»

A snap of a look over her shoulder confirms the column of lightning continues to eat its way through the broken hole in the wall. Whether decorative or protective, there is no time to know. The illusion-swathed woman darts and delves through the cacophony rising from the ascending metal lump that lands. Recognition widens her eyes. But no time, no time, Laufey is here, Laufey is somewhere, and all Kai's spite misplaced or not cannot shift her from the task.

Long-legged leaps and those hanging suspended moments carry her like a pinball through a gauntlet imagined by a demented clockwork spider. Pain, so much of it, comes with the ice and renewed vigor of hits directed at her; they see a target as much as the bloody sorcerer is. She can't even begin to speak all the agonies that she's enduring, but Strange's warning rings in her head. And there he is.

Thank you, simple jotun knowledge. On the stairs, retreating to who knows where. The thunderous boom is from her at full charge, leaping to find him, shield or no shield. Whatever is at hand is flung at him, bodies, jewelry, a potted plant.

Kai pours his spite into fighting, and it's the jotuns who pay. It turns out an angry Kai is a force to be reckoned with. All the times he swallows his pride, each time some creep comes on to him or some bigot lashes out, for every predatory giant who has looked upon him with an evil gleam, and this insult to himself and his love? ?Kai has had enough. Between his anger and the kill the knives imbue in him, he is crippling giants and even felling some.

Yes, it's the Prince's hammer, but the elf doesn't seem impressed. He's furious. A giant comes at him, and he, soaked in blue, lunges. «Am I a joke to you?!» he snarls, climbing the giant using the knives for purchase. «Am I funny? Are the lives of me and mine amusing to you!?» Yeah, this may not be about the giant. But the giant goes down, and Kai looks, seething, for either a Gate or more giants to come at him. Let Bucky deal with the hammer.

He doesn't know it's only to be lifted by the worthy. And under no circumstances would Bucky deem himself worthy of any weapon of lineage more noble than, say, Smith & Wesson, or Colt. Bucky's got his rifle slung at his back as he scuttles to grab the fallen hammer. No snagging it on the wing. No, he has to set his boots and brace himself to lift it, bringing the metal arm into play. It's the one he can tear doors off cars with, after all. But the hammer is heavy enough to give him a funny uneven stride, the other hand extended for balance. It makes him look like someone running to make the plane while carrying a much-too-heavy suitcase. "Got it," he yells, in return.

Beautiful elf covered in blue blood, his hair matted, not a scent of flowers or cookies anywhere. His paint is the medium of rage and sorrow. It burns as it is so terribly cold. Down, down, down into the blue goes the ljosalf.

Rage that so damn cold. Get that Kai a cider.

Rune glow.

The hammer just about hauls down the man who intercedes. The weapon is strange one, not the block of metal on a short haft, a handle made inadequate because Loki is a jerk no matter where he, she or it is. Its edges carve out a bezel of sorts, and the hard curved point implies pain more than strictly common to Thor of Asgard known to them.

The shapes nebulously arise on the side, churning around as they burn to life and the air sizzles, all that lightning suspended where it crackles in a frozen slow-down of time. Bubbles form and never pop. The storm halts halfway.

Whomever holds the lineage of Asgard's throne.

And it's up, not a featherweight by any means, but not so much for a man who can rip apart Volkswagens.

The Cloak keeps the Sorcerer in the air, which is well and good because the man's Mystical batteries are running towards low. He flits around into view of the assassin and the Elf wielding his daggers in a fury never seen by Strange before. The crackle of half-dried blood on his upper lip, trapped in his goatee, tickles and he stains the wrappings of his forearm again with a swipe beneath his nose.

"Good!" He yells back. Now where the hell is Scarlett? Er, illusioned Scarlett. There's a scrum over by the stairwell, is that her involved in the fray? "Hold onto it, Barnes, don't lose it!" Unfortunately, the silver-templed caster does make one hell of a tempting target. It's not a shard of well-aimed ice that knocks him from the air — it's a whalloping explosion of a frost-grenade, all concussive cold and fine crystals. WHUMP and down the man goes, wind knocked from him. The Cloak stops the worst of the impact upon icy floor, but he still rolls and skids to a halt, doubled-over upon himself halfway across the room. "I'm fine," he manages to grind out in a tight voice, rolling onto his side in a puddle of Jotun blood. At least it matches the battle-leathers. Whether he's actually fine is another matter entirely.

Fandral is never far from Kai's side, a shadow in taller blonde and ichor-spattered grey. «I know that is not our Loki, Elf. If you say he isn't yours either — » A pause to block a blow and deliver a brutal counter-kick not too unlike the one he received earlier. « — then I am inclined to believe you.» His voice is steady if a little winded. A fine fighter, this Fandral.

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