Asgard - Finding Thor Pt 1 - Getting To Asgard


haldor_icon.jpg maia_icon.jpg jason_icon.jpg preston_icon.jpg

Scene Title Asgard - Finding Thor - Getting There

The smells of dinner cooking on the stove start to waft about the suite. Maia's cooking a feast, as usual, considering there's a growing Haldor and Drake in the condo so there's baby back ribs being grilled, rice cooking away and lots of other sides and fixins. Lots of racks, a couple for the npuppy and the Viking, and only one for the cook! And there's a few extras in case there are any unexpected guests as well.

As such, Maia's being all domestic for now, trying to get her mind off the latest events. Cooking is good therapy afterall.

MMmmmm… Ribs. Haldor looks excited. Drake looks even more excited because he smells meat that isn't burning. Clearly Maia-Mommy is cooking tonight, not Haldaddy. The Viking finishes setting the table and poings over to his chair, Drake yelping as he scampers across the floor to skid to a halt beside a doggie dish.

While he's not an unexpected guest, Preston does show up late enough that it was speculated he may have forgotten, or they may have forgotten he was on the way. Whatever works. He and Godric are at the door a moment after the last setting is in place, the former carrying enough beer to solve the lager deficit the gathering was otherwise in danger of suffering from. He knocks first, before testing the door.

The door opens upon recognizing Preston and Godric! The smells go out, and Drake happily barks at a new playmate! Yay! Doggie friends.

Maia looks over and grins wryly, "Heeey! You're just in time for dinner. Good thing I made extra.." there's that whole Maia-mommy thing going on afterall as she chuckles once more as she starts bringing the ribs on over towards the table.

"C'mon! Sit down, crack a beer, and grab some ribs. Maia makes some of the best barbeque this side of the Delaware Water Gap."

Haldor sounds cheerful enough. Maybe he punched an especially large Titanspawn before dinner. The Viking, kidding aside, does seem to be in an especially cheerful mood despite recent events. Cheerily he sends Drake scooting across the floor toward Godric with a wave of his hand, the pup bouncing and barking playfully around the much larger Godric's feet.

Preston hoists his offering demonstratively as he strides toward the table, faltering only long enough to bend and intercept Drake's hasty bouncing approach toward Godric to give the little fella a vigorous, affectionate ruffling. He straightens from that, letting the pups play together, in order to peel off a can from one of the two six packs he brought, tossing it toward his cousin, grinning widely as he settles in at the table. "Looking forward to it," he affirms, claiming a can for himself as well. He's in a cheerful mood, but since that's Preston's default setting things must be business as usual on his end.

The Aesir are suppose to be cheerful! Maia chuckles softly as the two masters seem to mirror their puppies' disposition as she sets the ribs on down with the knife, carving what needs to be carved. "Have a go at it, plenty enough for all. And of course, save the bones for the pups.." she chirps with a bright smile as she finishes being all domestic and is about to sit down.

That's when there's the sound of a light tapping pecks at the window. Outside, two ravens peer in curiously as they peck away. Of course, these are familiar ravens, but at least they aren't arriving when Maia and Haldor are having relations. So that's an improvement on their part.

"Hal.. we have company.." she says, heading towards the window to let the ravens in.

There is company in more ways than one, a knocking coming about that time from the front door. If the house Kami is being it's usual helpful self it lets Jason in about that time so he can poke his head in and look about, "Hello?" he calls out before then adding, "What smells good?"
<OOC> Maia says, "Every other time Hugin and Munin have come, Maia and Haldor were post coital or coital. Hahaha. They have bad timing."

"Maia's barbeque ribs and fixin's," calls Haldor to Jason. He is, however, busy staring Hugin and Muninn down through the window. With mock secrecy he leans over toward Preston and intones, "Don't look now, but the Windex birds have arrived to mock us with clean windows."

Haldor promptly sits up straight again and cracks open his beer. The Viking takes a long draw of the draft, still watching Maia get the ravens in… Through the same window that Shou blew out with his surfboard, Haldor notes with a sigh. Looking at him, Haldor probably expects some terrible Aesir beast to erupt through that portion of the building after Huginn and Muninn. Even so, Haldor goes after the ribs.

Mmm… Ribs.

Somehow Preston manages to attack a plate of ribs without making a mess. He's no prissy eater, just lucky or something. When Jason arrives, he breaks from his decimation of dead cow fragments in order to toss a beer toward the new arrival, which means he doesn't quite manage to get back to eating before the birds have made their presence known and Haldor has coaxed a snicker from his cousin, one Preston quickly tries to stifle to afford the presence of Odin's ravens the gravity he thinks it deserves. He's new enough to all this to not regard such a visitation as 'just one of those things', but it helps that his hosts are being so mellow about it.

Three hunky men and Maia. It's a wet dream! Well, it would be if Hugin and Munin weren't around. Still, she lets the two ravens in, giggling at the Windex birds reference and they waddle in, eventually perching on the chairs not too far from the puppies playing. "Well, don't we have a nice little dinner party here. I was half expecting the two of you to be naked, since that's what we always seem to arrive upon.." says one of them with a haughty and almost British accent.

Maia facepalms, her cheeks flushed a bright tinge of red as she heads on over and wrinkles her nose as she eases on down. "You guys hungry?"

"Are they really?" Jason inquires with interest looking towards the birds even as he heads towards the food, "Anytime I show up they are always fully dressed. You've got better timing for things. Is there a trick to it? Can you teach the always walking in on people naked trick? That would be worth knowing."


Haldor rubs his forehead with his can of beer. There are probably a number of reasons to do this, not the least of which being to avoid smearing barbeque sauce all over his face, but it works well to illustrate general 'Stop talking about me naked'ery.

As for being mellow about this, Haldor may be a little jaded about Odin's birds showing up in the middle of things. They do pop up far more often than he could have ever expected, especially considering some of the stories Eric's told him.

Preston snickers quietly, put at ease by the surreality and irreverence of the moment and the way even the ravens seem to be rather laid back about the whole business. Still, he's eager to know what this is about and perhaps oversteps himself in his eagerness to find out. "So apart from trying to perfect your record on coitus interruptus, what brings you by? The ribs?" He holds one up demonstratively, waving it back and forth.

"The World Tree is dying. Some Japanese man is draining power from it, and interestingly enough, Aphrodite has been seen in the Overworlds near Asgard. It's rather disconcerting, and Sif and Freya are not amused. I think it has something to do with your father's disappearance, Haldor. And because of that disappearance, there are more attacks upon Yggdrasil as well. Sinmore is there leading an army of fire giants.." Hugin replies.

Meanwhile, Munin flies over to Preston and tries to steal one of the ribs to get at the meat before going back towards Hugin, omnoming away.

Jason frowns a touch at the mention of his mother being near Asgard, letting out a low breath and he says, "That is where she went after Olympus. And.. the Japanese man." He looks around at the others and asks, "I don't suppose any of you happen to be codebreakers? I've got an assortment of notes from Kamui's room in Olympus and while I can read the individual Kanji just fine they.. really don't make any sense put together. I think he keeps his notes in some form of cipher."

Maia can read Kanji quite easily. And she's an onmyouji as well. She raises a hand and peers towards Jason. "I can take a look at it if you like. If it doesnt make sense it might be in sanskrit. It's one of the languages that all onmyouji learn as incantations are still spoken in it even though it's a dead language as well."

"You're looking at me?"

Haldor arches a speculative brow at Jason's codebreaking question. The Viking rips some barbeque sauce laden meat from a rib bone and munches thoughtfully on it as he gazes evenly at Hugin. A frown is obvious on Haldor's face as he feasts, probably considering Hugin's status report as seriously as he possibly can.

Of course, it's also possible that Haldor is also wondering whether he's ever going to finish this wacked out drug trip he must be on. Talking ravens from Norse mythology? A Japanese guy draining life from Yggdrasil with Aphrodite? Holding court of what amounts to a war room over dinner in some Japanese chick's apartment? Japanese priests and priestesses writing in sanskrit, which is a dead language from India? Gotta be one hell of a trip.

"So. What? You want me - us? - to go stop a goddess, a demigod who might be a god in disguise, and an army of fire giants from destroying the World Tree and, if we're not too busy with that, save Thor too?"

Jason furrows his brow, "I think I'd still be able to read it. But maybe if the sheets need ordered in a particular way for that.. uh.. right." He reaches into his jacket and extracts a thick bound folder, handing it over to Maia to have a look. "Hopefully it will make some sense for you. Those are recent notes so it might have been him planning whatever it is he are doing now."

Meanwhile, Preston just shakes his head apologetically to Jason and gladly relinquishes one of his ribs to Munin. He gives a worried look to Haldor, as if consulting his cousin as to whether such a notion is even remotely possible. "I take it that's unusual even for you guys?"

"The Sanskrit, even in Shinto and buddhist teachings is the languages of the old gods. It's somethinglike what would be considered the mystical Enochian in some regards. At least that's how it was explained to me anyway. And it's not the sanskrit that people know and speak. It's sanskrit, but it still means gibberish, to those who were not trained in's complicated.."

There's Maia giving it a dismissive save. All this is normal to her. At least, the onmyouji and weird languages part anyway. So she grabs the sheets of paper from Jason and starts fiddling with it while she looks down the entire time.

Meanwhile, Munin nods and caws, chuckling immediately afterwards. "Well yes, they're all related. Who else would stop it? Remember when you saved your half brother from being Mami Wata's love slave? Yes, we sent his band there first and look what happened. He almost became one of Mami's lovers. We're not going to take a risk like that when there's Aphrodite in the fray. Why, are you afraid?" he asks curiously, canting his head to the side as he peers back towards Haldor. "I thought this Japanese man was someone you were familiar with. The name is Kamui afterall."

Muninn says the name. The bone in Haldor's hand shatters loudly, though nary a splinter escapes his grasp. Instead the Viking stares at both birds, murder smoldering in his level, cold eyes. Haldor sets his jaw for a moment, considering his words as he regards Munin.

"/FEAR/. Does not enter into the situation. I'm just getting kind of tired of cleaning up older GODS' messes. Or are they your messes, Muninn?"

Haldor sets his hand down, letting go of his death grip on the rib bone. Maybe a quarter of it makes it to the plate as anything resembling a rib. The rest of it gently tumbles to the plate as dust. Joy of Epic Strength, huh?

Jason quirks a brow and looks between Haldor and the birds even as he says towards Maia, "Huh. It sounds very complicated. Well. Do have a look. It may simply relate to what he did in Olympus, there I believe he somehow set up the altar that restrained Eris's powers. He wanted to keep things secret and hidden there, the others over rode him. Especially given the bad results there went, if he is in charge in Asgard they will probably be working pretty hard to hide themselves away."

Preston's not that easy to rile, but Munin's taunt gets his spine straight and provokes a sudden hiss of drawn breath in response to the challenge as he feels defensive on his cousin's behalf. If it'd been pointed at him he wouldn't have so much as raised an eyebrow, but that's just how he rolls. His response would be rather subdued by any measure, but it's easily dwarfed by the enormity of the viking's display of anger. He gives Haldor a concerned look before glancing over at the ravens reproachfully. Not cool, guys.

Even Maia's snapped out of her reverie by the snapping of the ribs and she looks towards Haldor for a few moments. She reaches on over to pat him gently and reassuringly on the leg before she goes back to translating and decoding. Don't mind her guys, she's just here as background for now. Yeah.

The raven caws once more, definitely amused from the taunt as he peers back right towards Haldor. "You think that will intimidate me, Thorson? We are older than your family. We helped Odin initially. Do not forget that." he caws back, definitely annoyed for a few moments.

Fortunately, Hugin interjects and looks back towards the others. "Technically, these are everyone's messes. You killed Kamui along with the others, but you did not make sure they remained dead. They are a threat to everyone with what they areplanning, and you are the ones who know how to stop them. Fate binds you destinies and only you can defeat Kamui. No one else. Should Maia strike at him, she would surely die. This we know. Should anyone else strike at him, they would surely die. You want the others to go first then, Haldor since you are not willing to accept what fate has deemed. You are the children of the gods. Your legends are built on stories. This.. is your story.."

"Did I say that I wouldn't do it?"

Haldor simply and spontaneously calms down. Whether this is because Maia just patted him on the leg or because he excised all of his fury in grinding bone to dust in the palm of his hand or if it is something else that seems to have cooled his Thorson temper is yet to be seen. No matter the reason, Haldor is suddenly markedly more calm and less angry with the birds. Maybe Haldor just likes Huginn's voice better.

"All I asked was whether those were the facts. I guess I have my bloody answer though."

Prudently keeping his silence-and enjoying the ribs while they're still warm in a subtle display of pragmatism now that the Thorson's fury has subsided, Preston tries to keep abreast of the incidents being referenced in these vague snippets, applying context where he can and making a mental note to ask questions later. Some of it gives him pause. At one point he wears a vaguely horrified expression as he mouths the words 'remained dead', troubled by the notion that it's possible to not kill something dead enough. He comforts himself by sneaking bones to the pups from under the table while everyone's listening to the birds.

"Those were the facts. But no, you didn't say that you wouldn't do it. You may have defeated him before but Kamui was the one who fought Thor and made him disappear. Where you father is, I do not know at the moment. Kamui has grown in power since then, so do be careful. With the failure and capture of Aphrodite's daughter in Olympus, they will be much more careful and much more deadly." says the ravens together, emphasizing the last sentence as they peer towards those present.

Maia remains calm, listening as she continues to translate, starting to scribble away, translating what he had written down before.

"Those were the facts. But no, you didn't say that you wouldn't do it. You may nhave defeated him before but Kamuiwas the one who"

"Then I guess I'll just have to be more careful and more deadly my Frigg 'n' self, won't I?"

Haldor casts a sour scowl at Muninn before knocking back the remains of his beer. The Viking downs the can and sets it down on the table before he coolly folds his arms across one another on the table's edge as he peers at the birds.

"And I guess I'll just have to find a better way of making sure he stays damned well dead."

As the empty can comes to rest upon the table, Preston peels two fresh beers from the plastic rings and pops the tops, sliding one in front of Haldor while he starts on the other one. The sense that their leisurely evening has gone the way of the dodo thanks to a couple of ravens is rather hard to miss, and the gravity of the moment all but demands something a wee bit closer to intoxication, in his humble opinion. "So…when do we leave?" he asks, consulting his friends with a questioning look.

Jason lifts a shoulder at that and looks towards Haldor, "Matters of Asgard are not exactly my area of expertise. I think that is up to the one most involved. When do we leave?"

"As soon as possible. Since they are at Yggdrasil itself, and that is the main Axis Mundi to Asgard, you will need to find a back door. And if anything, you should find the old home of the Vanir. The two realms are still connected, Vanaheimr and Asgard, but we do not know what are the axis mundi to Vanaheimr. When they joined us, they abandoned their realm, but it has a connection that you may be able to take advantage of. Not just that, but the old weapons are there too, relics that are hundreds of millenia old which may aid you in your quest.." the ravens reply,a mischevious twinkle in their eye as if they know something the others don't. Perhaps it's another test.. of course it's another test.

Maia blinks as she wrinkles her nose for a few moments, still trying to mess with the various ofudafromthe dark onmyouji. She starts arranging them differently, canting nher head to the side, lost in her own little world.
<OOC> Haldor AFKs for another few minutes, sorry.

"Maybe," Preston ventures optimistically, "weapons adequate to kill this Kamui fellow properly dead for all time, hmm? It's something to hope for." He glances toward the ravens and then back down at his plate. "Maybe we should finish dinner first," he proposes, digging back in to the ribs. "These are amazing."

Maia leans in and whispers, "Be glad Haldor didn't cook it, or it would spontaneously combust.." giggling happily as she digs in now.

Jason turns his attention to the Raven's at the mention of ancient weapons, quirking a brow. "Really. Well, perhaps something there will prove to be useful in the days ahead."

"I hate tests," remarks Haldor, "I never did well on them in school."

The Viking rests his face in the palm of his hand for a little while. Drake promptly romps over and starts barking at him, bouncing about and intermittently grrrrtugging at his pants leg or pouncing on his feet. Haldor lets out another sigh and leans over to ruffle the pup's fur before looking back to the others.

Somewhere between one moment and the next, Haldor the Reluctant Demigod is replaced by Haldor the Grizzled General. He looks at the others very seriously, considering his words carefully as he musters every ounce of his not insignificant charisma. Thorsons have it good like that, the whole inexplicable 'Hi, I have the CHARISMA' thing that is, which may explain their prevalence.

"We go after dinner. Tonight we dine on ribs, tomorrow we dine on /VICTORY/."

"He gets so cute when he's all trying to be inspirational!"

And that of course is Maia, gigglingin a rather amused fashionas she scoopsup the tuggingpuppy. She finished her ribs already, having eaten the meat, so she lets Drake lick off the rest of the delicious sauce. She chuckles once more looking to the others before motioning to the rest of the food. "Come on, eat up now, no left overs!"

The ravens caw and just shake their head. Still, they settle at the dinner table, pecking and picking away at the scraps offered, which is half a rack for the two. Omnomnomnom.

Jason snags some food as well because. It's food.

"Huzzah, sir," Preston cheers in his understated fashion, hoisting his beer can in a toast as he grins from ear to ear. Being the closest thing to mortal in the room, he is most susceptible to the brief but stirring pep talk and is thusly empowered to run on sheer enthusiasm in lieu of other sustenance. That there are ribs left over just makes the feast all the better. Within moments he's invited Godric to perch at the edge of the table, front paws keeping him upright so that he can nosh on bones and scraps as they're offered to him.

Haldor enjoys him some barbeque ribs and beer. It is a good dinner and he savors it because, as usual, Huginn and Muninn are sending him off on some crackpot mission. Briefly the Viking wonders if this isn't just some horrible drug trip that he doesn't remember initiating. Maybe he went insane and didn't notice.

If this was all a horrible drug trip, then even Maia is a hallucination! Oh noes! Still, whether she's allin his nhead or not, she goes to feed Drake a few more pieces of meat, not wanting the puppy to munch up on the bones right away. Not good for a growing pup afterall. She's full considering she doesn't eat as much anyway..

Jason just keeps chiling out with the field, waiting for people to get in the mood to get moving.

Preston enjoys his meal in companionable silence, grinning steadily at his tablemates as he passes goodies to his faithful canine buddy. All the misgivings he has about this whole 'half-Aesir' thing tend to disappear in a puff of enthusiasm once there's something amazing to be done. He'd be surprised to learn that his cousin has misgivings, considering all this group has been through. As it is, he's content and confident, certain that all will turn out for the best.

Haldor doesn't so much have misgivings as he has… Uncertainty about his own stability. Sometimes it's hard for him to believe this stuff actually is happening. Then again, it's not like Haldor's had much time to digest being a son of Thor or any of the accompanying insanity.

When all is said and done though, Haldor stands up and looks around. A warm smile spreads across his face and he bobs his head.

"Time to r-… Time to go."

He wasn't about to adopt the Optimus Prime's Autobot warcry. What are you talking about?

"I know how we're getting there!"

And that's Maia chirping cheerily as she found out what everything meant. She chuckles softly and wrinkles her nose as she starts easing on up and places Drake down to rest from being full of delicious meat and BBQ-sauce.

"The Vanir touchstone, it's the Süntelstein near Osnabrueck in Germany. Germanic pagans lived there, that's what all this referred to. It made no sense because it was old Sanskrit that was a translation of new German. Kamui is a clever bastard, I'll give him that. I think he wants us to find him.." she says with a subdued smile. "So everyone get ready..or roll out as it were.."

Come on, she's his girlfriend. She can read Haldor like a book!
"Well…" Jason says thinking all that over, "If so we're probably headed right into a trap, of course. But perhaps it will actually be a trap in the right area. One way to see. So, let's do it."

"Good thing some of us are prepared for traps," remarks Haldor to Jason. Very cautiously Haldor deflects Maia "reading" his mind. Instead he reaches into a pocket and pulls out his Aviator sunglasses, slipping them on with all due David Caruso hardcore. "Hm. I wonder if that means I should or shouldn't bring that thing from Surtsey."

"It doesn't sound like we have any other choice but to jump through the hoop," says Preston in regard to their desintation being a likely trap. "At least we'll know to be wary going in. Of what, I guess we'll find out the hard way." He shrugs as he gets up from the table, letting his hand dangle so Godric can lick the sauce from his fingers before he goes to the sink to wash his face and hands. Content to dry them on his shirt and sleeve, he turns to look to the others, giving a nod to indicate that he's ready to go.

"What thing from Surtsey?"

Maia is all confused now as she really didn't know what happened there afterall. Still, she eases on up and cleans the dishes rather quickly before starting to pack things up. It's going to be a long trip from New York City to Germany afterall. She hrmms for a few moments and puts up a finger towards them.

"Hold up! Just give me a bit!" and she runs into the room, closing and locking the door behind her.

Jason rolls his eyes at Haldor's words and rubs at his eyes, "Right." Then a look towards Maia darting towards the bedroom and he says, "Right again."

Haldor shrugs at Jason, looking toward Maia as if to respond to her question when she runs off. The Viking sighs and shakes his head, moving across the main area of the apartment to pick a big slab of rock. Quite handily he carries it back toward the dinner table, leaning against his chair while he waits for Maia to return.

"I'm lost," Preston admits, throwing his hands up. He's comfortable with that though. When it's clarified exactly what the thing from Surtsey is, or so he assumes as he looks at the slab, he's no closer to understanding. Compelled by curiosity he gestures toward the slab and ventures, "So…what does it do? I mean, besides be heavy."

A few minutes pass and Maia's out again with a cheesy grin curling onto her lips. She blinks a little at the stone on the dining table and flails her arms a little. "The wood!" she whines, not wanting it to get scratched. "And what's the giant paper weight?"

"Beats the crap out of me. I think it's part of some sort of sacrificial altar thing. Could be meso-American or proto-Germanic. Based on where it was and who was using it, I would tend to lean toward proto-Germanic," is Haldor's reply to Preston.

Then Maia returns and asks the same question. He looks at her for a few moments before shrugging. "Some thing I found in the remains of the Axis Mundi I helped destroy on Surtsey. I was hoping you'd know what it was."

Jason settles back in his seat, letting his legs kick out in front of him as rolls his head back. Getting comfortable and chilling out.

"Well.." and maia takes a closer inspection. Without Scott around, that makes her the knower of things and shehrmms, wrinkling her nose as she starts looking for any runes and carvings on it. SHe gasps and takes a step back as she traces out the runes onto a sheet of paper. "Jason, you can read stuff can't you.. confirm with me what this means.."

"Sounds like a story for when we're not trying to save Yggdrasil," Preston replies with a nod. "One day when things are calmed down I'm going to get the whole story from everybody, and then maybe I'll finally feel like I know what's what."

Jason turns his head from where he lounges, looking over at the altar and narrow his gaze to take it in across the distance. "Looks like instructions of some sort. Sacrifice a creature of legend, they open into a portal to Asgard. Uh.. looks kind of fatal for the sacrifice from what it says."

"So. Should I not take it with us? Should we, I don't know… Go hunt down some Titanspawn and ice it on this thing and really shock the crap out of Kamui?"

Haldor looks mildly uncertain of what, exactly, Maia and Jason are getting at here.

There's a rumbling outside as Maia beams brightly and wrinkles her nose as she heads back towards the window. "No. The proto Germanics were very violent, if you got that from Surtsey,I figured there would be something really gross as to how to use it, so I asked Sojobo if we could borrow Tatsu to bring us to Germany..and here he is!"

Yep, right outside the condo is a rather large, long dragon ready for riding. There's even the nice saddle sort of thing on top of him. "So let's go!"
"Yeah. It's transport" Jason says to Haldor, "And I don't even know if it would function as transport here, or if it was instructions to open a portal wherever it was located and so just a rock here. But uh.. right. We've got a dragon. I think we're good."

"That's gruesome," Preston declares blandly. He's curious to know about the sacrificial stone too, but the arrival of the dragon trumps anything else he might be curious about and he hastens outside to get his first good long look at such a beast with Godric close on his heels. "The kinds of favors you guys can call in…" he muses, shaking his head in amazement. He'll follow someone else's lead in actually mounting up to depart.
Jason has partially disconnected.

Haldor sighs and picks up the altar, carrying it over to where he retrieved it. Promptly he switches between altar and his shield, Johanssen, before ambling toward the largest window. Drake is already at the window with Preston and Godric and is barking his head off at Tatsu.

Really, if you were a god-puppy, wouldn't you be barking at the giant dragon too?

"All righty Drake, you can come too, but only if Hal-daddy says so.."

And that's Maia beaming brightly as she hops onto Tatsu, who is just floating there. Sure there are lots of mortals gasping in amazement from below, but whatever,she's already a publicly outed Scion. It's all good.

"All aboard the Tatsu express!"

Jason takes his place aboard Tatsu, finding a place to settle down and get comfortable. "That's very gruesome" Jason agrees, "Although I guess a good thing if you can pull it off and really need to get there."

As Haldor gets to the window to hop aboard Tatsu, he stoops to pick up Drake. The Viking promptly settles down on the saddle because, well, he doesn't remember there being a saddle last time.

Preston and Godric each climb and hop aboard, finagling an arrangement on the saddle as comfortable for the oversized Lundie as they can manage. "Do you guys ride dragons often?" he asks, once again amazed by the things his friends do without giving it a second thought.

It's not really a saddle. More like a carriage saddle thing that can let them settle back and just chillax on Tatsu. Still, they're off,and this time Tatsu is blazing. Really blazing, considering he's flying so high. And at these speeds and at this height, no one needs to worry because insects can't survive up here, so no insects will be swallowed.

Several hours pass and eventually they're in Germany, flying over Saxony. Below are giant megaliths, stones muchlike that of Stonehenge in England and Tatsu is swirling on down. Maia and Drake fell asleep along the way and she's all curled up next to the fuzzy furball for warmth and cuddling purposes. Still, anyone with epic perception will notice something down there, a young woman dressed in classic Chinese style clothing.

"Often? No. I've ridden Tatsu a couple of times before… When we went to Hashima. I wouldn't suggest going to Hashima, by the way, Preston."


"Oh good. A woman in classic Chinese style clothing. In Germany. This clearly cannot end poorly."

Maybe Haldor's just cranky because he didn't get pie with dinner.

Jason started napping on the way. He's still napping. Sprawled out in one corner and dozing happily away. Snooze snooze snooze.

"Got it," Preston says, hours ago in unconditional agreement with his cousin. "Hashima is bad. Don't go. I'll remember." Hey, when the old pro is offering advice, it's best to make a note. As they spiral down toward the earth and see that they've got a welcoming committee, Preston hmms thoughtfully. "Do you recognize her? Or is this going to be a surprise for all of us? I'm kind of hoping for the former, by the way."

Not just any woman. She's gorgeous. Porcelain white skin. Hair as dark as the blackest midnight. And a lot of other purple prose descriptions are totally appropriate for the woman waiting below. Still, she chuckles softly, pulling out.. waittaminute. Is that ofuda? She too has strips of paper between her fingers though she waits for them to land.

And as Tatsu lands, she starts approaching them. "Ahhh, I was told to be expecting you. I'm sorry, but Kamui-sama simply doesn't want to be disturbed, unless you want to give him back what is theirs. I believe you have one of his compatriots in a box?"

And Maia is still dozing. Snooze snooze.

Jason is dozing too! Through a hot woman! Snooze snooze. Surely Haldor can handle a hot paper wielding chick, he's been in training for that for months.

"… If you mean a pine box, I'm sure we can find where The Beverage Whisperer is buried. Otherwise I'm not real sure what you're talking about lady," Haldor's brain suddenly ticks back to Mount Olympus, "Oh. Right. I almost forgot about that. But I'm really not the guy you want to be talking to about that."

Haldor gets to his feet, picking up Johanssen as he goes. Fortunately he's already got his Aviator's, ring, and bracer on, Johanssen was all he really needed to pick up to be at full carrying capacity. Then again, Johanssen is really the only relic he has that isn't easily carried - maybe Haldor should look into fixing that.

Oh right. Evil Chinese onmyouji. Haldor makes a frownie face at the chick, kind of like this >:(, as he steps clear of Tatsu. Calmly Haldor gets into a ready position with the shield at hand. Preston can probably see some lightning crackling over the fist Haldor keeps behind his back.

"So how about you step your pretty little Chinese Playboy Bunny self out of my way so I can go talk with Kamui."

Despite it probably being a catastrophically bad idea, Preston is quick to slide down from the carriage on the dragon's back and step up with Haldor, coming to a halt a step or so back from him with Godric taking up the Thorson's other flank. For now it's just a display of support, considering his suspicion that this confrontation has a few unwritten rules governing it he's loath to break out of misguided enthusiasm.

"Oh, I could never fight anyone like you. I am simply a Taoist, a sorceress of the Bureaucracy and Kamui's lover.."

The woman lets out a hearty laugh as she idly runs her fingers through her hair as she looks towards the sleeping Maia, shaking her head once more as she grins wryly.

"Too bad your girlfriend isn't awake, she would be able to stop this next thing. I have no intention of fighting you. I'm much too weak, you're much too strong, that's why someone else is.."

A wry grin curls onto her lips as she throws the various ofuda down onto the ground. There's a pentagram shape that forms and energy starts to rise nup from the ground itself as a coffin of sorts starts to rise up from the very depths of the ground.

"You see, we don't fight. I use.. puppets to fight.." she says softly. "Or some would call them zombies or corpse dolls, but that is my ability as a Taoist. We use ofuda differently.."

Yes, she's deciding to explain things like all good bad guys do, cause they like to monologue and all.

"You may be familiar with my corpse puppet, but then you'll know that there's no way you can win.."

Soon, the coffin stands tall, the door opening as there's a rather muscled man that steps out. His body is bare, made of lean and taut muscle with visible scars on his form. He's in loose fitting black pants and simple shoes for movement, and the only thing that can be seen is an ofuda that sits on the hat covering his face. However, the stance is a familiar one, the dragon form, which is very Way of the Dragon-ish. For those who look really close, they'll recognize said face, or better yet, they'll recognize the kiai behind it. One guess as to her corpse doll is…

Conversation! Much conversation! Jason yawns broadly and stretches out withint he carriage thingy, peering out at.. huh. Well that is rather itneresting. "I never realized that TV Land was an actual place or that we'd arrive so unexpectedly on the martial arts channel." The Scion of Aphrodite does not go indulging in any fits of violence but he does begin to load his pistols with flame flickering from about his fingertips, the metal of the firearms taking on a faintly reddish glow.

"Oh good Christ."

Haldor facepalms, eschewing building up electricity in his free hand for the familiar and comforting motion. The Viking can feel the air pressure shift slightly around him as Preston and Godric step up. Silent as a church mouse, Haldor lets his thoughts flow around and around and around again as he starts draining his brain of thought. At this point, thought will probably end in dead demigods and… Heroic companion.

"Preston, Godric. Back up. You might not want to get too close because this is going to get all kinds of ridiculous."

Indeed it quickly becomes very ridiculous as thick lines of electricity start arcing over Haldor's arms and legs. A veritable corona of lightning surges and crackles about the edges of the golden shield Johanssen. Smaller bolts arc between the Viking's thick spikes of hair, as though climbing a forest of Jakob's Ladders. Clearly someone has an in with the SFX department.

"So I guess I should call you Orochimaru, babe? You gotta let me know what to have marked on your gravestone when His family gets done kicking your ass."

Oh yeah, Haldor knows who that is. He's not going to say the name though, because it's just not right to call some sort of Chinese zombie puppet by its name in life. At least, that's what Haldor keeps telling himself as chilling fog starts rolling off of his hands, frost crackling across the surface of his already charged shield. Lightning arcs faster and brighter now, sizzling the very air around Haldor as he turns his shield and himself into some sort of quasi-super-conductor for his own electrical power. Super powers are awesome.

Neither the Baldurling nor his trusty pup need to be told twice. With the proper display of Aesir solidarity out of the way, Preston and Godric each take several unhurried, dignified steps back and settle in at what becomes the outermost edge of Haldor's rising power to assume vigilant, ready postures to await a call to action. "Not the word I'd use," Preston comments to his pup. "'Ridiculous', I mean." He nods, content to be an impressed spectator and offer moral support so long as his cousin is managing things with his one-man show. "Far, far from it." He looks up to the carriage on Tatsu's back to see what take the others have on this, but his attention quickly returns to the confrontation.

"Ridiculous is a word that could be used to describe the situation, yes. But trust me, I can have you as one of my corpse puppets in the end too. It all depends on how you perform. I like men who can perform well afterall.."

The woman lets out an impish laugh as she stares towards the three men, the ofuda still between her fingers as each movement of her fingers seems to correspond to a movement on the corpse puppet. At least, it would seem that way for the super observant.

"No, I would just call my dear sister a bitch. Not Orochimaru.."

And that's another voice that suddenly appears next to the woman. He's dressed in classic Chinese garb as well as he snickers, carrying a big ass spear with him that is at least as tall as Haldor.

"Kamui thought you might need some backup, and it seems you may need my help.." he says with a wry and predatory grin.

And that's when Maia wakes up with a yelping barking puppy. She blinks for a few moments as she sees who they are and blinks for a few moments. "Is.. that who I think it is?!?!?"

And yes, it's exactly who it is! There's the smooth moves of his graceful kata, his muscles twitching slightly as he just stares down his opponent. The first one being Haldor of course. He squints his eyes as the ofuda on his forehead remains there, glistening in the moonlight.

His move are quick and fast as lightning. He doesnt want to give his opponent any time to possibly plan out an attack as he starts rushing towards the Viking. He has his own version of the VIKING fist, though it's the DRAGON FIST if anything else. As he gets closer, he jumps high in the air, time almost slowing down as the SFX department decided now would be apropos for a bit of slow motion. He starts to twirl and flip in the air before his foot goes directly for Haldor's chest. Okay, it's a DRAGON KICK.

It's way too fast. Way too surreal. Maia still stands there slightly dumbfounded as she squeezes the puppy next to her for a few moments. "Drake, honey poo, just stay on Tatsu, kay.. mommy's gotta go help daddy.." she quips as she jumps off and starts rushing towards the Viking..

And considering that first kick missed, he twirls, taking advantage of the closer proximity to try to go for an uppercut. His hands are even flaming at this point. It's a battle of fire versus ice this time as the kung fu and jeet kun do master tries to pummel the life out of the viking.DRAGON UPPERCUT!

Jason seems thoroughly uninterested in Bruce Lee. While the Dragon might be the Dragon and that is all very cool and such the puppetmaster of the beast is far more intriguing being female and.. well.. hot. Jason remains within the slight cover afforded by their ride here, drawing forth one pistol and lowering himself to a knee to sight down it towards the paper wielding female that is not Maia. A careful aiming for her heart and he pulls the trigger. What seems to be a fiery bullet transforms on the way there, sparks morphing into forms entertwined, depictions of a sensual fiery embrace. Surrounding the shot, accompanying it is the manifestation of Jason's charisma made manifest, Aphrodite's child fully unleashing his heritage to not just writhe this woman in heated passion but to stir the fires of her heart as well.

Haldor finds himself staring at Bruce Lee as he launches across space and time to try and boot Haldor in the face. When the SFX department goes into effect for Bruce, Haldor can't help but feel a twinge of sadness for Bruce Lee. The SFX department is kind of ignoring Bruce Lee's wishes with regards to stunts and special effects.

Even so, Haldor can't help but automatically click his reflexes into overdrive. The Viking hurls himself to the side at the last possible moment, rotating through the air impossibly as only a demigod of the Sky can without actually flying. Haldor skids to a halt, spinning around just in time to find Bruce Lee flying at him again, flames wreathing his fist as he attempts to DRAGON UPPERCUT the Viking.

Metal pours out of Haldor's pores as he becomes the water of Bruce Lee fame. Somehow the Viking bends backward in an impossible, biomechanics defying way that should cause his spine to explode or at least snap as Bruce's flaming fist impacts Haldor's metal-covered chin. Haldor takes the blow full on, blunting much of it with the quasi-liquid steel covering his flesh before he somehow performs a walk-over backflip to entirely deaden the blow. The part that is damning is the fact that Haldor's hands never touch the ground to help him with this walk-over backflip.

The Viking straightens up with a terrible *CRUNCH* of bone and cartillage as he pops all of his joints back into place. A shuddering sigh escapes Haldor as he feels the lightning coursing over his body interact with the super-chilled metal now covering his flesh; heat and power starts searing away his shirt and hoody alike, though his pants are inexplicably spared. Perhaps pants are simply immune to electricity or, perhaps, Haldor runs on Hulk physics.

No matter the reason for Haldor's pants being spared a slow, super-conductor enabled disintegration, Haldor has a trump card. It's a new trick, so perhaps Kamui wasn't prepared for it… Or, perhaps, no one but Haldor could pull such a stunt out of his ass at such a random and insane moment. Lightning arcs over Haldor's metal frame as he slings Johanssen across his back, effectively shouldering the golden shield, as he brings his hands together. Lightning arcs about between the palms of his hands and the tips of his fingers in a near blinding display as the Viking sizes up all of his targets.

With a ROARING PEAL OF THUNDER there are enormous, jagged bolts of white-hot lightning that blast outward from Haldor toward Bruce Lee, the Puppet Mistress, and Spear Dude #6. Still more lightning radiates from Haldor's cold steel body, surging around each fork of lightning as the roar of the thunder grow ever louder, the air itself seeming to reverberate - nay, /PULSATE/ - with Haldor's terrible, enraged power.

In the wake of the electric crackling and thunderous roar that accompany the Thorson's deluge of lightning, Preston raises his chin to give a slow, approving nod as he stands with his axes at rest upon his shoulders, their blades crossed behind his head. He lets out a low whistle and then takes a step forward, spurred ahead by the report from Jason's pistols. "We're up," he says to Godric, quite unnecessarily, turning one step into a sprint as his arms work with flowing, sinuous motions to set his axes into motion like a blur of liquid steel forging a path through the ozone ahead of him. They pick up the light and amplify it, a blinding flash meant to precede his charge upon the Taoist sorceress's spear-wielding accomplice, building to that brilliant prominence as he springs across the remaining distance to seemingly float toward his enemy. The dervish-dance of his paired axes slows hypnotically, and his foot touches the ground only once to propel him into range to swing low, dipping his body forward and twisting to deliver a pair of vicious cuts in concert with Godric's lunge for the man's eyes.

Things have definitely become interesting. Maia watches the mayhem. Her boyfriend is fighting a legendary martial arts master, and holding his own! Well, getting hit wasn't a surprise, but the fact that he wasn't too badly hurt is definitely a good thing. Still, she wrinkles her nose as she chews on her bottom lip and starts looking around to see who would need the most help, and that's Preston and Jason, at least in her mind. With her divine speed and grace, she rushes towards the Baldurling first, eventually going into a series of double back handsprings before launching in the air to touch him on the head. She wants to vault on him afterall!

Whyfore this madness? She wants to protect her ex and friend by giving him a little boost. He should feel healthier, but how much whoknows? The contact was brief afterall..

Poor spearboy. He's the most inexperienced and the youngest of those here. He's only a sixteen year old semidivine Chinese kid, and even while he's arrogant and cocky, he has no idea what to expect. Then he's blasted by a sudden bolt of lightning, tossed in the air by strong winds before he's sliced and diced by Preston before he even lands on the ground. That's simply not fair! He's annoyed beyond belief and he simply glares towards Preston. He glares evilly, giving him the good old evil eye. Or atleast he's trying too.

The spear in his hand is thrust into the air as he makes quick work, slashing as there's soon streaks of light forming. The kanji that is spells stands for CHAOS and he thrusts the spear towards the dancer, the kanji flying out towards him, hoping to warp his mind into a state of paralyzing conusion..

Much like her younger brother, Ren Jun is not having a good time. Her fingers twitch as she focuses on controlling the martial art's master's movements for now, but like her Japanese counterpart, she can do multiple things. Her main target was Jason afterall, and it becomes even more focused on him when she's shot with a shot of utter and pure ecstacy that causes her knees to tremble while screaming to the gods.

"Oh Gods! Yes! Jason!" she screams over and over as she writhes and gasps, panting for a few moments. Still, she shivers and looks around for a few moments as she tosses out several weapons of all sorts. Spears, swords sudden start appearing from the rather large scroll on her back as she starts chanting and glares towards Jason. "You will be mine darling.. I simply have to give you everything.." she purrs as soon, there's seven levitating spears all looking towards Jason. She wants him to bleed for her. That's a turnon apparently and with the flick of her hands, five of the seven spears start heading directly towards the son of Aphrodite. She wants to keep him in place afterall, no matter what the cost.

And why does she miss so terribly? Well, she's still also spasming from getting hit by a bolt of lightning as well! Duh!

The martial arts master is no pushover. He is made of pure muscle, divine muscle and bone at that and if anything, close quarter fights are to his advantage. Even when being struck by lightning, his body just glistensas he looks towards Haldor with clear murderous intent in his eyes.

With Jun spasming, the control of his limbs start to flail just a little, but even a man like himself can still fight with deadly precision even when looking like he's drunk. He starts wobbling backand forth near the Thorson, the winds blowing through his hair while he sizes up his opponent.

Kiais can be heard escaping from his lips as he continues to posture just a bit before he eyes the armor. That's a problem, a really big problem. And he starts moving, or rather wobbling even closer.

His hands take on a more demure posture before a series of strikes starts being aimed directly at vital points in Haldor's body. What is he trying to do? Well of course, he's wanting to paralyze the threat. A non moving VIking is an easier Viking to maim afterall.

Jason may not have much to fear from those initial spears that go flying in his direction but he still seems to think it is best to get off dragon back and onto his own feet so that he might better avoid any more such things which come flying in his direction. "We just met and already you're trying to pin me down" he jests towards the beautifully made up woman before barking more seriously, "I don't think we had to go into the rough stuff but if that is how you want to play it." He springs between the spears buried in the dirt, second pistol being drawn to join the first. One gun spins in a flourish as he rounds the last spear and aiming at close range now at the heart of the woman he lets off another shot identical to the first one he fired, all writhing and entertwined bodies and promises of sexual pleasure soon to come. His opposite arm extended off to the side it seems he is about to fire at the spearman, but that bullet, fiery in it's own right but never taking on any other form but destruction curves sharply in the air to aim itself at the large parchment upon the womans back. Perhaps to pass right through it and put a hole in her while setting it ablaze in the process.

Haldor has to actively blink to clear his vision after the swirling chaos of his own lightning storm. The Viking blinks again as Bruce Lee charges him drunkenly, which is kind of a surprise because Haldor didn't peg Bruce Lee as a Drunken Master. Frankly, Haldor thought Drunken Master was a Jackie Chan thing, not a Bruce Lee thing despite Jackie Chan having been a stunt man and theoretical acolyte of Bruce Lee.

But Haldor digresses in his thoughts as he twists and flexes with every blow. Chaos swirls at the fringes of Haldor's consciousness, but somehow the Viking resists its inexorable tugs at his mind. Instead the Viking twists around and away from The Dragon as Johanssen starts transmuting himself and Haldor's other relics into Haldor's increasingly signature armor. Golden knight armor spreads across Haldor's body, a gleaming solar emblem emblazoned on his chest while his head is concealed under a great helm of gold with a dark quartz visor that conceals his eyes from view. A sapphire gem gleams on the back of Haldor's right hand while the golden is broken up by a steely gauntlet covering Haldor's left forearm and hand.

Then the drumsticks drop out of Haldor's gauntlets and into his waiting, armored hands. Lightning continues coursing over Haldor's now cold and gold body, crackling with tremendous power, the super-conductive surface of his armor sizzling and popping as Haldor's drumsticks shift into a pair of Viking long swords between one frame and the next. Both hands twirl the swords as Haldor considers his next move - clearly there is only one thing to do.

Swords are brought together by the hilts and the metal shifts and warps until, rather abruptly, Haldor is holding a pair of cold, steel nunchakus. Lightning arcs from the chains as he rapidly starts whirling his new toys around, perhaps in a taunt of Bruce Lee or perhaps in homage to him. With a roar, Haldor surges forward and swings his nunchakus at Bruce Lee, mixing wild fury and refined strategy into some sort of styleless abomination.

Really, the important part is that Haldor is wielding Speed 1, lightning-enhanced nunchakus. This can only end badly.

Preston touches down from his lunge with one leg bent and the other stretched out behind him, his blades held parallel to the ground with his arms outstretched, and it's as he begins to rise that his opponent conjures symbols from the air with the gleaming speartip and the fluttering banner. Mystic light washes over him, alighting briefly upon his face like a brand, seeming to coax steam from his skin until he opens his eyes to unleash a brightness that washes away any trace of the spell and its bid to confuse him. "No," he says simply, denying that chaotic power any sway over him as he twists and pivots into the air, his blades once again describing cruel arcs in an almost ceremonial display as the radiance from his eyes builds in intensity. At first it breaks into painful glints and flashes off the whirling blades, and finally it grows too bright to be obscured, a flash of brightness like that of the sun, with his form reduced to reddish afterimages, mere suggestions of motion made persuasively, painfully tangible by the whistling threat of steel, promising to bite deeply into flesh as the radiance presses itself upon the poor, misguided youth.

This is one of the more intense battles that she's ever seen in her time as a child of a god. Maia's worried about everyone, and from what she knows, having trained with Sojobo himself, is that Haldor is outmatched in terms of speed. Still, the gears in her brain is starting to turn and she rushes back towards the resting dragon, starting to make preparations. Ren Tao isn't the only spiritualist around, and it seems it may come down to some classic Japanese onmyouji magics against the classic Chinese taoist magics.

Already Maia starts chanting in a long forgotten language, that perhaps the Taos would understand. She pulls our a long string with beads (Buddha beads) and tosses it in the air before it lands in a circle around her. She falls to her knees and continues the prayer to the kami as she closes her eyes and concentrates and focuses. She wrinkles her nose as the soft whispers of disembodied spirits fill the environment as she chews on her bottom lip, focusing.

This goes well into her training not just as an onmyouji, but as an itako as well. There's a reason why things just happen for her. It's because of the kami and spirits of the world around her. That goes beyond just regular spirits as she starts tossing out various ofuda until it forms a pentagram in the circle and the lines of the star starts to form. She's definitely pushing the limits of the SFX department at this point…

Of course, Drake instinctively knows what to do. There's a series of barkbarkbarkyelps at the energies that are being summoned as the little furball jumps off of Tatsu and grows into an eight foot tall wolfie. He's gotta protect mommy afterall. She cooked him ribs!

The grandmaster of jeet kun do stares down his opponent covered in his golden Baldur armor. A soft chuckle escapes from his lips as he dodges the moves with ease, his body the epitome of poetry in motion as he ducks and weaves from the various strikes of the nunchaku.

He stands back, snickering the entire time. Sure, he isn't as fast as Haldor one on one. No, Haldor's at least three times as fast as he is in this form, when he's unarmed, but that's where he decides to turn the tables. It's been said that he moved so fast that it seemed like there was more than one of him atthe time. There's a bit of truth to it as suddenly, there's suddenly six more of him.

Yes, that leaves Haldor against six grandmasters. Oh goodness. The ridiculousness of what's going on has just multiplied.. by six.

Much like his sister, Tao Ren is not having a good time against his own opponent. Perhaps he's becoming much too overconfident, getting his spear in position to try to slash at the approaching Baldurling, until Preston does something rather unexpected.


There's a yell of pain as the bright flash of light blinds him, causing him to stumble back, leaving himself completely open to attack. Even with his armor, the swords of the chibi Viking cum dancer slices through as blood spills on the ground, feeding the land with divine blood. Ren tries to maintain a defensive pose as he squints his eyes, trying to see, but alas, it's rather difficult, so he can't even strike back towards Preston!

"Oh /HEL/ no."

Haldor spins around, whirling his still lightning embued nunchakus about his body as he twists and turns to take in the sight of seven Bruce Lees around him. It's very cool camera work, but it's all mid-production camera work, no SFX budget to waste.

The Viking frowns under his helm as he considers the situation. To be honest, there isn't much time at all to consider things in, but Haldor takes what little he has to carefully consider it. Clearly the only way to solve this problem is with sheer, unrelenting, blinding speed. As a result, Haldor blitzes into motion without any idea what exactly he is running into; for all he knows, Bruce Lee can use more knacks and boons while in the midst of Army Of One. Of course, Bruce cannot, but Haldor doesn't know that.

A golden blur launches forward toward one Bruce Lee, lightning cracking off of the nunchakus to blow divots in the ground as one pair of nunchakus turns into two that windmill at Haldor's sides as he charges into the fray with remarkable speed. He leaps into the air and whirls, swinging both nunchakus with terrific speed and power. Lightning arcs and cracks about Haldor as he attempts to smash Bruce Lee's face in with one nunchakus before the other goes to cave in the back of Bruce Lee's head.

Bruce Lee, of course, is the Dragon. One strike is not nearly enough. Haldor drops to the ground and whirls around and around, turning himself into a windmill of destruction and devastation as he attempts to batter Bruce lee into the ground with repeated lightning-enhanced strikes of the nunchakus. As the lightning finally gives out, flashing out of existence around his body and his nunchakus, the Viking is only about half way through with his death barrage.

Roaring with fury and unrestrained power, Haldor suddenly whips himself out of his death spiral, swinging both nunchakus at Bruce Lee's chest as though slashing with axes or swords. The Viking whirls about, spinning his weapons about before lashing and smashing Bruce Lee time and again. Murderous intent gleams on Haldor's visor as the nunchakus whirl and crash, trying to batter the Dragon into submission. After all, if Haldor can take this one down then he only has six left.

"The first is for my father. The second is for my mother. The third is for my siblings in my home town. Wepray for your soul."

The beads in her hands start to jingle and jangle, the wooden sphere clacking and clicking aganist each other as she continues the ritual.

"Yip Man, Grandmaster of Wing Tsun, your pupil has lost himself. If you hear this voice in the extremities of the next world, rise. If you hear this rosary, come.."

Maia's eyes start to become completely white as she loses herself in the trance. A warm breeze starts to fill the area as disembodied voices can be heard throughout the area. The circle around the young onmyouji glows brightly with a warm light as the spiritual energies surrounding her starts to take shape around her. The shape of an elderly man dressed in classic Chinese robes appears before her. She gasps, her eyes widening as they start speaking.

Yip, an elderly man seemingly in his late 80s with a long white beard looks towards the ensueing battle and simply nods, seeming to acquiesce to the onmyouji's wishes. "I expect an apology from your mother for this favor to the Jade Emperor.." he says firmly and resolutely. "But my student has lost his way, I will help.."

With that he starts to move towards Haldor, his spirit going towards the nunchaku. "Let my wisdom help guide your movements. I know my student's weaknesses.." he whispers before soon disappearing into the weapons themselves.

It's then that Maia exhausts herself and falls in the circle completely unconscious.

Preston's lethal ballet is mostly obscured by the nimbus of holy light emanating from him, much to the detriment of his 'dance partner' whose armor and flesh have been ravaged by the slim, long axes the young by-blow of Baldur wields with elegant precision. The light fades, too late to spare Tao Ren's eyes, revealing Preston to be unharmed, with every incidental highlight across his skin seeming amplified like a lens flare and liquid light dancing across his blades. He hesitates as he watches his opponent stagger, and then shoots a sharp sidelong glance to Godric, nodding grimly as he returns his attention to the staggered teen.

The canine leaps, aimed to bound off the young spearman's chest and knock him back while Preston lunges in to sweep his legs out from under him. He reverses the grip on the axe in his right hand, intending to plow the haft of the weapon into the young man's gut in a bid to bring him low without causing further injury. It's more mercy than their foes were likely to offer them, but Preston doesn't have the heart for casual slaughter, and his adversary still has years ahead of him to find a better, brighter path.

First there's one glowing light, and then another? Considering all Ren can see right now are splotches much like after a really bad and strong flsh of a camera, he has no idea what else is going on. Still, he lets out another scream in pain from the force of the hit that doesn't manage to slice through and find fleshy bits in his armor.

Hs stumbles back, still trying to gain his bearings once more as he tries to focus in on Preston. Sure he's hindered, but the fight isn't over yet as he starts slashing in the air, lines of energy being drawn once more until the kanji for CHAOS is formed. With the thrust of his palm, it heads towards the Baldurling once more. Two can play the paralysis game afterall.

Sure, she's orgasming. This has to be one of the weirdest fights she's ever been in as Jason gave her more orgasms in the midst of a few minutes than Kamui has in quite some time. Still, the beautiful Tao Jun regains her composure even though her legs are still shakey, though there's more bullets! Oh noes!

Pew pew! Her skin is cut from the bullets as she screams in pain and the fires controlling the martial arts master burns. But that doesn't matter for he is still under her spell as there are now seven of them fighting against the Viking afterall. She growls and looks towards Jason, squinting her eyes even further. "I will have you. You will be mine and soon you will be under my control as well.." she screams in anger. Jun screams out as her eyes widen as blood trickles down her arms, legs and torso, staining her outfit. She pulls out yet another ofuda from her pocket and slams it down on the ground, shouting something as fire starts to rise up going directly towards Jason with incredible speed. Woosh! Inferno baby!

There are seven Bruce Lees all together. Yes, seven of them. This whole thing is just ridiculous. Whereever Thor is, he's probably having a giddy feeling from one of his sons facing a grandmaster of kung fu.. or rather grandmasters of kung fu at the same time. This is what Aesir live for right? Fighting against opponents with ridiculous odds. Truly ridiculous odds that have perhaps been balanced out by the aid of Bruce' master now living in Haldor's weapons.

Still, all seven are ridiculously effective. One at a time, they start to attack, not wanting to leave an opening on the Viking. High, low, middle, each one goes and rushes head on towards Haldor.

The first starts with a high flying kick, the high pitched kiai resonating throughout the stones of the area. The second goes for a low sweep at the feet, wanting to knock Haldor down. The third goes for the middle, thrusting out an open palm to his stomach, wanting to knock the wind out of him.

The relentless attack continues with the fourth and fifth going at the same time in perfect synchronization as they both try to go for bicycle kicks from each side. Wouldn't that cancel out each other's movement? Who knows, but constant pummeling with Lee feet should hurt if it connects. Finally, there's the seventh as he starts rushing hoping to go for another DRAGON UPPERCUT.

Haldor staggers backward as Yip Man suddenly appears in front of him. The Viking doesn't manage to get so much as a word out before his body and weapons are invaded by Bruce Lee's Ancient Master's spirit. In all honesty, Haldor feels just a little creeped out and/or violated by the affair.

Though as he turns to watch Maia topple to the ground he realizes that it was her way of helping him with the impossible. Even so… Haldor can't help but feel a little weird about having the hands of an Ancient Master guiding his movements in an effectively Nine Way Battle Royale. With a grunt, Haldor's heightened sense of hearing alerts him to an incoming flying kick.

Another grunt escapes Haldor as he flips back into a diagonal hand-stand, letting one Bruce Lee go sailing past as a second drops into a whirling sweep kick aimed at his legs - now his arms - to hobble him. The Viking barely manages to evade it by rolling with the strike and launching himself at one of the Bruce Lees trying to bicycle kick him in the… The… Well now it's his crotch. Bicycle kicks aimed at crotches? That's just wrong.

The Viking whirls in midair, somehow corkscrewing around the bicycle kick before he crashes into the ground, boots first and sliding to a halt in a decidedly Kung Fu pose that Haldor clearly does not seem to know. He steps forward, just once, whirling his Viking Nunchakus around and around as though in a corona of merciless metal and fury. A battle roar escapes Haldor's lips as he leaps forward, twisting and whirling in a terrible flurry of gold and steel blurs.

Once again Haldor focuses on one Bruce Lee, toe-heel kicks and impossible nunchakus combination attacks flowing together in a symphony of destruction. Kicks rain down on the Bruce Lee that launched the DRAGON UPPERCUT in tandem with whirling lashes of his nunchakus. Suddenly Haldor backflips, whipping his nunchakus around with such speed that great washes of frigid air lash outward as the Viking attempts to thrust whirling metal death at Bruce Lee.

With a terrific crash Haldor belly flops on the ground after that last strike, but hardly seems inconvenienced as he rolls around on the ground before suddenly whipping his legs up into the air and helicoptering. A second transition moment occurs as one nunchakus whips out toward Bruce Lee's foot only to come up short as Haldor impossibly whips himself from helicopter to pinwheel that attempts to VIKING NUNCHAKUS UPPERCUT a Bruce Lee.

Are you getting dizzy yet?

Seven Bruce Lees were jumping on Haldor's head. One fell off and broke his head! The momma called the doctor and the doctor said! Haldor just fucked you up good!

In an explosion of gore, one of the clones meets his horrible violent and bloody Haldoom as he's murderated by the spinning nunchuks. For those who look, or perhaps even have a spirit sight, they can see the old man's spirit bitchslapping the clone into oblivion!

Still, the others remain onguard, and the original is even surprised now. Just what exactly happened. How does the Viking move with the grace and elegance of a grandmaster. This is disconcerting, and once more, they all start to rush towards Haldor, focusing and using their murderous intent on him.

The one who was badly bruised by the attack kiais in a high pitched whine, that makes even Drake whine from the piercing shriek. He launches himself in the air, turning around and doing a 540 kick, hoping to land his foot on the Viking's face.

The remaining four follow with a series of kicks and punches as nthey all try to bumrush the Viking. Fists of fury move with lightning speed as they all take turns trying to thrust their palms towards his chest to knock the wind out of him. Surely he has to leave an opening, right?

To be perfectly frank, Haldor is not even quite sure how he just punked a Bruce Lee and a half like some kind of 29th dan grandmaster. Sure, there isn't a 29th dan, so far as Haldor is aware, but that's just how ridiculously grandmastery a Bruce Lee just got punked.

Haldor clenches his teeth and closes his eyes as he tries not to hear that high pitched KIAI of doom. By the barest of margins, Haldor manages to avoid his wounded opponent's 540 kick, but ends up barrelling into one of the other Bruce Lees. That Bruce Lee starts pummelling Haldor until the Viking uses some Holy Bound to leap out of the pounding and onslaught. With an elegant backflip, Haldor lands in a defensive position and whirls his nunchakus again.

First thing's first.

A tremendous roar escapes Haldor as he surges forward toward that wounded Bruce Lee. He pivots on one foot at the last moment, bringing a windmill of nunchakus death up and across, attempting to literally bitchslap Bruce Lee with a nunchakus. It is probably no less ridiculous than it sounds.

Within another split second, Haldor whips himself back around in the other direction, bringing his other nunchakus to bear as a second lash. Still more frigid wind washes outward from every nunchakus lash. Maybe this time Haldor will actually roll his Hrimthurssar's Touch on the damage.

While all the chaos is happening, Maia's snoozing. Exhausted. There's at least the ginormous Drake, no longer cute widdle fluffball puppy, but instead puppy of doom besides his mommy, nosing at her. Awww. He's worried.

"You don't have to do this," Preston calmly informs his opponent, all the while denying Tao Ren the space he tries to win. The spearman's bid to distance himself from Preston is thwarted by the Aesir's bold, insistent dance within the reach of that deadly spear, ducking and weaving beneath the fluttering banner and razor-edged point while his own weapons are carried in what would seem to be an awkward fashion if not for the surety with which they're wielded. He grips them just beneath the blades, with the tapering curve seeming to serve as a handguard-save that he is attacking with the thick ends of each haft, aiming swift strikes where the boy's armor doesn't cover him. They seem almost to be moving back to back, with Preston jabbing backwards at ribs and thigh, lower back and gut, elusively pivoting to follow Tao Ren's movements while Godric continues to harry him in a largely feigned flurry of snapping jaws and ferocious barking. "I understand how these things can happen, but it's not too late to turn back. What you're doing is evil." Accustomed to motion the likes of which would leave most men winded, Preston manages a level tone of voice as he remains a flurry of precisely calibrated motion, dancing with his unwitting partner while trying to subdue him without further bloodshed. "Please don't make me hurt you. You can't defeat me. Your tricks don't work. You've failed twice already, and I'm not even bruised."

There is fire around Jason. So incredibly much fire. /HIS/ Inferno does not work that well. Although the Scion of Aphrodite tries to get out of the way of the blast before it fully forms even his incredible agility does not prove sufficient and he is wreathed in flames. It's something that Jason handles quite well, being totally immune to fire, it is something his clothes do not handle well at all not sharing that particular virtue. Does his attacker thing him dead? It seems not unlikely given the sheer epicness of the attack but then out of the flames comes a fireball flipping through the air to land in a crouch. Jason looks one part angel, one part demon, leather jacket weakened at the mundane stretching behind him like a pair of dark wings and the flickering flames castomg a demonic reddish aspect to perfect skin. He simply kneels there for a moment with arms outstretched to the heavens like a supplicant to some unholy lord, but he is not waiting for his prayers to be answered. Pistols at last completing the journey he himself made a little faster as they arc through the air to be caught in waiting hands, arms snapping downward to bring them level towards Tao Jun, a conductor heralding a sudden symphony of gunfire as muzzles begins to flash and rounds begin to head towards the woman.

Bullets rip and tear at the madwoman. Her eyes wideningas she looks towards Jason with clear murderous intent. The bullets start to rip and tear her to shreds until she falls in a pool of blood as she screams in agony!

That catches the attention of Ren of course as he looks towards his older sister. "NO!" he screams, already frightened by the handsome visage of Preston who is talking about just how badass he is. He starts to run, going first for his sister, scooping her up in his arms before he moves like lightning, running away. That leaves only the Bruces left afterall..
<OOC> Maia says, "Ren pooped his pants."
<OOC> Preston says, "Awesome. :)"

However, the remaining grandmasters of kung fu are not dissuaded by the death of his mistress and the running away of one of his young masters. He is a demigod with one clear mission ingrained in his brain. Stop these people from reaching Yggdrasil, and even if his mistress can no longer stop them, he can.

This time, theremaining Bruce Lees decide to take on new opponents. The flaming form of Jason benig looked at first by one of the originals and another as they both dash towards the flaming son of Aphrodite. They move with inhuman grace and speed as they both aim their open fists towards him, hoping to launch him as far away as possible!

That leaves the other three still focusing their gaze on the remaining Aesir. Preston is given a quick look over and isn't deemed a threat for now and all three go for Haldor once more.

It's a simultaneous high, low and middle attack as they approach the Viking in a triangular formation, hoping to trap him in the middle. There's a flying bicycle kick aimed for at his head as another high pitched shriek KIAI can be heard. Another moves below him, rushing and then sliding in the ground like a baseball player trying to slide home, hoping to trip the Viking up. And of course the thir rushes in, attempting an open palm towards Haldor's chest.


Haldor takes the feet to his helmet and bends like the greenest of reeds until he eventually falls over and directly into a palm thrust. Somehow, rather inexplicably, this bending and attack soaking keeps him from having his feet smashed out from under him. Perhaps he presented simply too small a target for a baseball slide and Bruce Lee, gasp, missed.

Who knows, who cares? All that really matters is that Haldor slowly re-erects himself after the thrust punch slams into his armor-plated midsection. Quite calmly Haldor shrugs it off, snapping joints back into position with a sharp jerk of his body. The nunchakus keep whirling though, nothing seems to stop them from whirling like deathcicles.

Another roar escapes Haldor as he whips one nunchakus out at the offending palm thruster's face while snapping the other one up and around, attempting to wrap it around the bicycle kicking Bruce Lee's ankle before Bruce hits the ground. His purpose? Smash one Bruce Lee's face in before launching the other Bruce Lee at the ground. When those strikes complete, momentum reabsorbed into whirling the nunchakus around like the deadly weapons they are, Haldor twists and whips himself around into an impossible diving strike aimed at double axe-handling Baseball Lee's arms off with nunchakus.

Looks like Haldor's playing for realz now.

Three Bruce Lees, jumping on Haldor's head. Haldor got really angry and fucked two of them up in a bit more gore! That.. is definitely surprising as the third just stares and looks towards his two other clones. This time it's time to get serious. With the snap of his fingers, the other two clones disappear and it's all of them versus the original now.

"I do not know how you suddenly were able to hit me, but trust me, that was a fluke. I will show you my true power.." he says firmly and resolutely, staring towards the group as the muscles of his form start to twitch as his own ichor starts covering him, making him look a bit like Haldor, but silver in color from the body armor.

With a high jump in the air, the grandmaster twists and turns, channeling his anger and conviction as he spirals down upon the Viking. This is his version of Haldoom. It's LOOM! Loom is on the horizon!

Okay, that didn't sound as cool as it did in my head. Still, he twists and continues the death spiral, his hand opening up hoping to strike and crush the armor that the Viking wears.

The moment his opponent breaks from the fight to retrieve his sister, Preston steps back and dismisses his weapons, proving true to his word about his desire to not hurt the boy. He watches the pair escape with a look of grim sympathy, and then turns to take stock of how the demigods are doing. So far, so good. Prudently he refrains from charging in to help, quite aware of how well he'd fare in an arena where power of that magnitude was being flung about. Rather, he hastens to Maia's side to keep a vigil with Drake and witness the battle from a safe distance.

Jason allows himself a dark smile of satisfaction as the female is blown to bloody pieces, up until two attackers fling themselves in his direction. He's slipping off the strips of his coat for greater mobility even while weaving and dodging those assaults and when the clones merge back into one he's following them in that direction. Diving past the two even as the Dragon throws his hand strike at Haldor Jason is suddenly there close with a pistol aimed towards the martial artists wrist. A single pull of the trigger even as he pulls himself to the side, getting low to the ground and aiming another shot, this time at an ankle. It's a fluid dance entwining with those moments, gun fu versus kung fu, working to disarm the opponent of his deadliest weapons: His hands and feet."

Oh good. Bruce Lee just made it simple to tell which Bruce Lee to kill. That is incredibly helpful to the High Velocity Battle Tank Haldor. With a roar, the sapphire on Haldor's right gauntlet glows brilliantly. Johanssen and Haldor alike scream in agony as Bruce Lee's death spiral thunders into their "unified" midsections. Armor screams as Haldor is forced to skid back on suddenly appearing lines of ice.

The Viking doubles over as he finally breaks away from Bruce Lee, the lower portion of his faceplate peeling back so he can suck in some much needed breaths. Slowly Haldor stands up straight again, faceplate sealing again as Haldor's mouth turns into a crooked, wicked smile. Briefly his sapphire-backed hand glows again, thin sheets of ice bursting into existence in random places around himself and Bruce Lee.

Haldor promptly blurs into motion again. Icy mist trails Haldor and his whirling nunchakus as he zips hither, thither, and yon while tracks of ice are laid down under his feet as he moves. The Viking circles Bruce Lee time and again as he engages in ruthless brutal martial arts - Lightning Master of the Unarmed versus Lightning Master of the Armed - action.

Of course, Haldor is just feinting time and again as he works to avoid Jason's line of fire while also working to drive Bruce Lee onto a slick patch. If he can do it, Bruce ought to be off-balance just enough for Haldor to engage in horrible, Grandmaster Yip Man-guided nunchakus smack down. Repeated, murderous sack-beating with nunchakus endowed with Haldor's divine cold and divinely murderous might.

Bruce Lee ain't the only one here with Armor Crusher and Haldor been pimpin' that shit for a while now.

BLAM! BLAM! The two shots hit their mark, blasting off the hands with ease. Jason definitely helped out there as the hands go flying, hitting the dirt while the stumps start spurting out blood all over.

Still, Bruce is very much zen through the entire process. He doesn't feel pain, at least not as a resurrected zombie corpse of his once glorious demigod self with his soul trapped inside. And that's when the Raging Viking Battle Tank, otherwise known as Haldor comes in, his weapons guided by the ancient master defeating nhis student once more.

The nunchuku pummel him the kung fu master continuously as blood splatters out and the sickening crunch of bones can be heard. The pummeling is so brutal that bones are grinded down to nothing but dust and flesh to mincemeat as soon there's nothing left but a pile of gore.

Still, something unusual happens as the ofuda on his forehead disappears, burning away when the body is destroyed. Even those without spirit sight can see a bright white light as his immortal spirit rises out from the body. It truly is the grandmaster in his glory, shining brightly before the two. It's a sight to behold as he simply bows to both Haldor and Jason, smiling brightly the entire time before disappearing into the heavens once more. His soul is now at peace. Yay!

Yay! Jason does not bow to the departing figure of the spirit of Bruce Lee, for he is not asian. He does give a winning smile however before he goes about collecting scraps of Nemean Leather which with some needle and thread might be a coat but at the moment is simply strips and straps of a formally orgasming Nemean Elephant. He's still naked unfortunately, leather straps serving to make an armband on each arm to serve as a crude holster for his guns. Zombie Bruce Lee hands get tucked away also, bundled away in another strip of leather and he explains, "I don't know if Wesley is happy just having.. Wesley hands. He might want to chop his current ones off and put these on."

Mrrgle mrrgle. Maia slowly wakes up to find Preston napping by her side on the nosing and licking Drake. She smiles warmly and wrinkles her nose as she looks at the field, where the battle seems to have stopped. She blinks at the sight of gore and looks towards Haldor with a furrow of her brows.

"Did it work?" she asks, still looking a bit fatigued.

Johanssen's protective plating melts away, shrinking back into a shield that Haldor has shouldered on his bare back. The Viking grumbles faintly about cold gold alloy on his back, but quickly shushes up about it. He adjusts his shades as he looks toward Jason, arching a brow at the hands.

"Man, those are going to Frigg 'n' reek. Give 'em to me so I can put them on ice."

Haldor holds out a hand expectantly while his other hand shoves his Yip Man-endowed drumsticks into a pocket of his pants. Silently Haldor hopes he doesn't dishonor the kami by doing so, but he really doesn't have anywhere else to keep the drumsticks at the moment since his murderous lightning storm disintegrated his shirt and hoody.

"We kicked their asses, Maia. Good work, whatever you did."

"They already aren't smelling the best. He's kind of been dead for awhile." Jason says offering the bloodied hands over to Haldor while he continues to try to turn a few straps of leather into something useful. Finally a makeshift pouch is made for one shoulder for relics to get tucked into. That kind of does it for his strips of leather. "So. The Menhir here once had a circle around it, although it does not in modern times. Legend says the devil rammed it into the soil after trying to block the door of the local village church. It's called the Suntlestein, and it's going to be our doorway to the realm of the Vanir."

Maia blinks at that. Hey, she was going to say those things, but oh well. She wrinkles her nose and heads on over as she peers at the hands and smiles dopily towards her shirtless beau. He's all hunky and she's still giddy. She whistles to have Drake bring Preston on over and peers towards the large megalith.

"So.. how do we get in? Just touch it? Do the macarena? Sing a happy song? Spill our blood? How do we activate it?"

That is the most important thing afterall. Still she looks back to the Viking when she stands next to him and wraps her arms around one of his own.

"And what I did was summon Bruce Lee's old master. I took a guess that he was one of us, and it worked. He's a minor deity amongst the Celestial Bureaucracy. He said he'd help you defeat his former student who was brainwashed by the Tao clan. And that's why you now have the spirit of a grandmaster martial artist in your drumsticks. I bound him for about eleven days, so he should be of use against Kamui and whatever else is here. Oh, and Tatsu's heading back to Sojobo now by the way."

Haldor takes the hands without so much as an audible or visible ick. The Viking is thinking it, but he doesn't let it show as his frigid grip slowly cools the zombie hands down. When they seem to be as thoroughly chilled as he can get them, Haldor puts them in his pants, where they will hopefully remain quite cold by proxy to his Hrimthurssar's Touch body.

Maia will probably want to quickly reconsider snuggling up to Haldor's side for the time being. Cold Viking is /COLD/. Haldor shrugs at the question of how to activate it, starting to make his way over to the megalith so he can inspect it.

"It's a portal to the home of the Aesir" Jason says with a shrug of his shoulders as he walks behind Haldor and pushes him towards the stone, "Go ahead. It's you the thing is going to recognize. We'll just mosey along after. Of course, you might have to sing a song, or spill blood, or whatever. But uh.. yeah. It's going to be you it is most ready to open up for."

"The Vanir, not Aesir. But they're related, at least that's how it is. Freyr and Freya are Vanir originally, right, Hal?"

Maia still snuggles against Haldor. He is hunky and she is immune to water stuff. It's a nice part of mastering water afterall. So she snuggles against the frigid Viking even if the proximity makes her nipply.

Frost is a different purview than Water, shouldn't that - never mind. Haldor, with cold zombie hands down his pants, pauses in front of the megalith. Quietly he examines it, grunting some sort of response to Jason and Maia as he visually inspects the "relic".

"The Vanir are not the Aesir; there was a great war between the two way back in the day and they eventually opted to trade two members from either side to settle the war. The Aesir gained Freyr and Njord, the Vanir gained Hoenir and Mimir. Unfortunately Hoenir was not terribly effective as a leader without Mimir's guidance and so the Vanir, fearing they had been tricked, decapitated Mimir and sent his head back to the Aesir. Odin preserved Mimir's head and Mimir revealed secret knowledge to Odin. Eventually the Vanir were assimilated into the Aesir, leaving Vanaheim largely by the wayside… Though I hear it's pretty nice digs."

Jason is simply silent through all of that, continuing to tighten bits of leather and generally occupy himself while Haldor works away at the stone and does his viking thing.

Wow. Maia's impressed with the knowledge. She beams brightly as she wrinkles her nose and nods. Still, something curious when Haldor approaches the Sunstelstone. It starts to glow and just as he's about to touch it he disappears!

This causes a squeak from the young onmyouji and soon she disappears too! Along with Jason, Preston and Drake soon afterwards as they're transported to a rather unusual realm.

The Vanir were wild gods of fertility, nature and beauty. Their realm is no different, matching their former owner's disposition and purviews. Golden fields stretch on endlessly as it seems this place was never razed by the Titans. Sacred groves with various altars and runes mark the land, with a few grand halls off in the distance. All in all, it's a serene place of beauty to where the young onmyouji whistles as they arrive.

"Nice place.."

"… Okay. What the Hel just happened?"

Haldor appears in Vanaheimr ahead of the others and so, by the time they arrive, he is standing on a reasonably tall pillar of ice. The Viking voices his above question just as Maia and the others materialize, possibly repeating it for Jason, Preston, Drake, and Godric's posterity since Maia winks in before they do.

"It did what it was supposed to" Jason offers as he takes a moment to look over the surroundings. Still keyed up after that recent EPIC BATTLE the surroundings appear to have a soothing effect on him, a long and deep breath taken in and he comments, "It really is a beautiful place. I quite like it. It's got style. I should do something like this with part of my Mom's realm."

"I think we ended up in Vanaheim."

There goes Maia, mistress of the obvious. She wrinkles her nose and looks around as she takes a deep breath, hrmming for a few moments. She shivers a little as she steps away from Haldor and looks down at the grass,blinking blankly for a few moments. She cants her head to the side as shelooks around the plants, what surrounds them and blinks once more.

"This can't be right. You guys see short grass and glowing fields right? But why do I sense a large forest instead?"

She's confused, right?

"Super-effective Vanir Power?" offers Haldor as he looks around slowly.

It's a hollow suggestion even to his ears. The Viking breathes in slowly and deeply, shifting his gaze into different ends of the electromagnetic spectrum as he tries to verify that this is, in fact, all that it appears to be at first glance. Epic Perception for the win, yes?

"I think we're seeing the same thing" Jason says as he looks around and he says, "Idyllic surroundings and all that. But uh.. I don't know why you'd be sensing something differently, plants aren't something I've dealt with much. Some sort of illusionary defense maybe? Or a forest transformed? Secret underground caverns filled with trees?"

"You're a rather perceptive one aren't you?"

There's a high pitched cackle, that of an old woman's as she starts to suddenly appear from nowhere beside Maia. Soon, the scenery shifts, the illusion lifting as they all now stand in the center of a rather dark forest. Really dark, to where it's difficult to see more than a few feet in front of one's face unless one can see in pitch black.

That means Haldor can see who is talking to Maia. An old woman, dressed in simple robes with the faintest bit of gold trim on tnhe hem. She carries a rather large walking stick and she's chuckling at their expense.

Maia however freaks out upon the darkness. She knows they're in a forest. Her connection to plants tells her that and she wrinkles her nose as she looks around for the others. She can't see Jason or Haldor since they're a few yards from each other and she squeaks and whines, instinctively illuminating her body to try to get rid of the darkness.

"Oh, it seems you're a sun child that's afraid of the dark. Hee hee. How quaint.." the old woman speaks again.

"Naw, just some lady who apparently can cast illusions," remarks Haldor to Jason. The Viking frowns slightly at he stares at the woman. So close to his last battle? He'd really like to avoid a fight just this moment if he can, if only because he just fought Bruce motherfucking Lee and it was brutal.

"Which raises the question of whether you're actually an older woman or, perhaps, someone a bit more threatening? Loki, perhaps? Kamui or one of his cronies?"

Jason flashes the old woman his best smile and he says, "That was really nicely done. Not just well crafted, but I liked how you made the surroundings so very pleasant that people would want to buy into it even more. It's a good thing to remember. It was really working pretty well on different senses as well. Nice to meet you, I hope. I'm Jason."

"Loki! Hahahaha, no. I did raise Utgard-Loki, and I am definitely not one of that arrogant man's cronies. I am a crone though."

The old woman winks towards Haldor before she looks back towards Jason. At least there's light now and they can all see her features. She leans against her walking stick as she bows her head towards the three of them.

"You are in the Dark Forest, which has consumed my old home. I have tried to hold it's influence back, but you entered and area where the magicks of the Dark Forest are strong. In order to get to your destination, you must remain lost."

Waittaminute, what does that mean?

Maia blinks a little as she continues to keep illuminating the area as she scans for any possible threats. Just to be safe, she heads towards Haldor to get closer to the Viking.

Haldor squints at the woman, trying to think through all the Aesir-related mythology. There is an awful lot, but he cannot seem to come up with a name. A gross oversight perhaps, but Haldor frowns slightly as he regards her. Laufey perhaps? But he could have sworn Laufey and Farbauti did not actually raise Loki.

The Viking rubs his chin a bit as his ice pillar slowly melts to the ground and he gently wraps his arms around Maia. For the moment he keeps all of his chilling touch centered in his lower body to help preserve Bruce Lee's hands. He considers those directions, squeezing Maia gently in his arms as he does so.

Jason says brightly, "I assure you that being lost is something that we excel at, especially in situations like these. My sympathies about the forests growth, if you have worked so hard to contain it then it's continued growth must be a source of some sadness. However.. things to do. Getting lost to get on with. A pleasure to meet you."

"Thorson, you do not know who I am? I fought your father along time ago. And do not be surprised as to why I know you are his child, you look like him.."

The old woman cackles once more as she looks towards Jason and smiles warmly as she nods once more. "Getting lost is the only way to get out. THe magicks of the dark forest confuse even the greatest psychopomps. There is nothing to map here.." she warns.

Maia hrmms for a few moments as she continues to stand near Haldor, not quite sure what the lady is talking about. So for now, she just hrmms,the gears in her head starting to turn. It has to be a puzzle or riddle of some sort,right?


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