1964-10-18 - Asgard Aflame: Alfheim I
Summary: In the realm of Alfheim, a bad version of Alfheim gets the war goddess out of having to be diplomatic!
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sif karnilla 

Diplomacy is a war of attrition where patience is one's armour, words weapons, and reason the foil. An entirely different sort of war Sif was wading through with the goal of both sides winning. The room she sits is inside the walls of the castle keep in Alfheim where she waits for visitation to speak with Solva directly. Quill crosses parchment as words of placation and gratuity are offered up in the customary courtesy.

The ljosalfjar give plenty of smiles and courtly courtesy in their elegant homes. All the florid speeches and exquisite mannerisms in the world don't discount the fact they are as cunning and canny as their counterparts in the shadow realms, but they merely put another spin on it. Easy when the sunlight passes through golden leaves and lances off outdoor tables groaning with abundance. Such a cobweb beauty seems unreal, and not surprising that some feel the place is entirely artificial and cold in a saccharine fashion. Beautiful women often seem the same: all flash, no real substance.

The flash in question originates from the ring of flowers budding around a flat set of stepping stones outside. The garden didn't have a full-sized statue a minute ago. It certainly doesn't now, as the sheen of radiance tumbling down from the tall, violet-haired Aesir gathers at her feet. She dispels the petals with a swish of her hand, and leaves one alarmed looking ljosalf gaping at her. Karnilla doesn't bother to look his way, a mercy really. In her eyes are portrayed terrifying fates, truths no one wants to see. "Go fetch a glass of wine and make yourself useful, if you're going to simply stare at me. Yes?" Then she's in motion, not bothering with all the elements of her regal station. A few stars and golden disks in her hair will do fine.

A flash of mahogany eyes picked up at the shift in the change of he rose gold light coming through the foliage. Curiosity shifted, though she knew damn well what it was but the who seems to continue being the elusive factor. Sif's fingers pressed to the desktop, and the chipmunk upon it got scooped up into one hand and Morsstryke was fit to her back stepping out to investigate. A thumb rubbed at the back of the palmed rodent watching with a warm amusement, "You are the most exciting thing to happen upon them this morning, and a welcome sight." The warrior let the chipmunk drop to the ground and go back about its play; this time not in her things. She was relaxed as she was apt to be; it was a war of a different kind being slowly won. Yay foreign relations.

The elf scrambles. Who wants to meet the emissary of the sisters three, especially one in her own right as inscrutable and unwelcoming as Odin? Though she might well look as though she escaped from one licentious party to go hunting, the addition of supple leggings to her usual gown affords Karnilla something one might call a casual look. At least an outdoorsy one. Gossamer gowns do not make a good choice when waltzing around ferns, pointy twigs, and mud. Even Alfheim hasn't removed mud from the world. "Scarcely," she replies, her lidded gaze almost dreamy and disconcertingly somnolent. Don't look too close and Karnilla might well seem about ready to fall back into bed or rise from it, the very image of exotic luxury and comfort. Nothing is further from the truth. The warrior and the mage; they are two very different things. "Have they anything other than those awful little toast points? Possibly some cheese, particularly not one studded with fruits. I imagine you would far prefer the chase, no?"

Sif replied with a glance around. "Without fruit? Good luck. I don't think it has occurred to them to not add fruit or sugar." She didn't mind terribly. It tasted better than hard tack in a pinch and for now Sif made a point to enjoy the hospitality while it lasted. Her eyes panned the area. The Norn Queen came alone and was decidedly not here for breakfast. She gestured to the building behind her; a fortified cottage furnished from twisting branch and possibly gingerbread that made for plaster and singled sides. Very lovely all in all, but not something she would have chose for herself. "They have put me up and are welcome to share in the hospitality. I'm gathering you are not here for the food." The thought occurred in short order, "Are things alright?" And by things she meant Karnilla specifically but opted not to suggest this at street level. The preservation of face waxes important still.

Altogether too lovely in an elven way, the cottage nonetheless has failures aplenty that anyone with a marginally capable eye might distinguish. Too many windows, and the gingerbread makes for falling hazards in the case of loosening or a good explosion. Karnilla stretches her arms out to the sides, bracelets humming a mournful jangle. They're near to vambraces, as close as a woman of her station might be willing to summon on the fly. She shakes out her midnight locks, the plum sheen cast off them giving the impression of stars and moons floating in the deepest summer sky. Only suitable given her eyes are bottomless nebulae, a nightscape wrought of impossibilities. They skate over Sif in a passing glance, and then she heads to the cottage in question. Grass is eschewed; she prefers the paving stones, hopping from one to another in a sense. "Come now, Lady Sif. You must surely hunger for activity rather than sitting for hours on end hearing about the niceties of titles and how very important and very sorry those lovely hosts of yours are, but they will be delayed another few hours as they must consult." She adopts something of the breezy, saccharine accent so common in ljosalf dialects. "Praythee forgive mine humblest requests, but I doth beseech so divine and fair a lady of great justice. Forsooth, mine own paltry efforts gain naught save inestimable concern from the magistrates, and so on and so forth. I know all about it."

Sif followed her lavish companion, the company welcome, and a grateful distraction. Unceremoniously she took up her chair again and laughed, "Now you are teasing me, and," He paused with an agreeable nod, "you are not incorrect. Now if you wanted to assist in pushing this all alooooong?" An eyebrow arched up, "I could gladly convey myself to things of higher entertainment, presumably to yourself as well." Yes, yes she very much did want to leave and do something worth getting her blood racing that had a more distinct difference in a rather tactile and immediate capacity. However, "I am here to pay back a boon given to me to aid them now in return. What is your business that brings you here to languish and lament. Tell me already. You have won my interest."

"Would you have me commit myself to such a task, Lady Sif? Woe, whatever should the All-Father think? What has proven such a barrier to your efforts?" Falling in step ahead of the brunette by only a pace, she approaches the cottage and then moves aside to allow for Sif to open the door. Not for her to be the one swanning in and being overcome by stinking sweet candles or whatever melts the elves of Alfheim think are appropriate for a goddess of something dirty. War is dirty. Thus it needs improvement with fourteen pointe lace doilies, and a good dusting of confectionary sugar. That's the rule of law around these parts. "My business? Why, stopping a host of fire goblins on their imp mounts from setting fire to half the forest. I do hope you treated your armour to be relatively fireproof?" Or, the tone implies rather dryly, she's going to have to get around to doing that. "Have no fear, it's not as though Surtur will come through to complain. I suspect if he were quite aware, he might be aligning his forces to take advantage of matters. All the more reason to be expedient unless you care for a roast boar or all of Honeywine Town."

Sif offered her answer in a flat, tired tone, "What is hindering progress? Talking and inaction." Just because she was good at diplomacy didn't at all mean to imply she meant to wait out the last moon cycle doing so. War was dirty and she did love the grit. The name bought the entirety of her interests. "Surtur? Bring me and he and Morsstryke shall have quick word with these goblins." She paused and considered out loud, "Though if we lose the forest there will be less fruit to put into the cheese." Dry humor, or the humor of dried fruits. Either way she was already making short work packing what few things she wanted with her. If it couldn't be carried on hip it was not essential right now. She did pen a note to be delivered to her host, because it was simply polite and there would be further business at some time. There was no time like the present to leave when battle called and it reached her ear like the baying of distant drums calling her back as a mother's voice to her child.

How old Karnilla is, exactly, doesn't show in her skin or her face. That may well be because of a blessing from the youngest of the Norns or because she quite frankly knows how to wear cosmetics in a fashion that girls from Milan to Mumbai will be emulating if she gets in front of a camera. The winging darkness of her eyeliner alone is remarkable. All the better to impress the damn fire kin of Muspelheim. "Lady, could you take down Surtur himself right now, Odin would no doubt reward you generously moments before fearing for the safety of his city. You might make a convincing case for an All-mother, not that anyone up there sees fit to bother entertaining the notion." Out of the earshot of the court, she's surprisingly clear spoken. Her fingers curl and loosen, and she tosses a thin silver thread airborne with the ease of someone tossing a rock into the woods. Its effect doesn't particularly become clear, though so much of seidr and Asgardian magic need not be flashy. "The barriers between worlds thin. Sometimes that happens normally, but not here. A number of these bothers fly, I should point out. Shield and swords are lovely when you can leap as far as you do."

Sif fit her shield to her back girding herself for travel presently. The finished note was left on the table though she paused to arrange a ring of wild flowers around it broken off of the garnish about the room leaving a message to those that might tend the room: Touch this without intent of delivery and face broken thumbs.

Sif took a deep breath and really thought about that being far from lacking her own ambitions. Finally she shook her head, "No, they would not, and I have no desire to sit in Asgard when there is war to do. Though," A faint, pleased smile met her lips as sure as fire on the distant field was met with that in her eyes, "Every day of unfathomable victory had a morning that started out somehow. Sutur might pray today is not my morning because I will come for him. I pray thee if it is his fate that his life is extinguished that I am the one that will take it." Her eyes closed and a long, satisfying breath followed. That was better than a cup of coffee at 7am. "Come, let us waste no time." And with that she was exiting though, held the door for her companion she would not deign to do manual labour: like touching things that grew out of the ground. Sif and dirt, however, had a happy accord.

Never ask the Norn Queen the fate of another. She will so rarely answer the question at all, let alone slant. The mere thin smile touching her full mouth gives a hint of wintry warmth and little else. An incantation for this sort of art is precious waste of effort, except the ambient payment for magic diminishes considerably. The wavering view of a distant aspen forest in gold and shuddering limbs reveals a web of sparks and grey smoke present. "Will you open the way?" It's no secret what that sword does. The rift offers a view of a realm within the realm, a scored shimmer revealing apparent disaster. The menaces aren't visible through the grey smoke or the sparks, but that's part of the charm of it all. Going to hunt the quarry rather than pointing and saying 'Aha, there it is!'

Sif had no interest in knowing the fate of her opponent, but did to hesitate to offer being the hand of agency on it either. Someday. Some day giant, she would see. She unsheathed Morsstryke from her back, forged by the All-Father, and key to the gates. It had heft which made it better and with a series of arcs slicing at the fabric of reality around her in sweeping arcs, thrust it into the air above her head creating a brilliant light that shimmered and a thunderous crack in the ground around she and the Norn Queen pulling them through space to the edge of the forest. They appeared, triumphant, runes of promise scorched into the ground.

The folded space splits open to another corner of Alfheim that's… not right, not by a touch of the blade. There are bubbles in the comparative plastic, spots where the realm isn't solid but absent, and others where Sif's sword cuts and bounces off it. The bubbles aren't particularly large, but can there be any better proof of a collision between places where they should not be? Each realm is unique unto itself, dimensions wrapped around one another like an onionskin. That shouldn't be.

But no sooner is the portal open than the Norn Queen steps in behind Sif, her magic crumbling around her. The scent of burning leaves and hot, sweet flowers fried greets the air. It's not all lovely, brimstone a saturated reek over the backbone of acid.

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