Asgard - Finding Thor Pt 2 - The Dark Forest


jason_icon.jpg preston_icon.jpg

Brief Cameos by Maia and Haldor

Scene Title The Dark Forest
Synopsis Sillksteel! Giant spiders! Giant birds! All the crazyness of the Dark Forest of the Vanir. Then more planning with Maia and Haldor

Right. The mysterious Crone lady has gone on her merry way and everyone has decided to make camp for a bit, the dark forest really being rather dark indeed and the hope being that handling it in light might be a little easier. Jason has seemed ill inclined to remain and nap however, dragging Preston along, "Yeah. I should have totally asked her clothes but she seemed kind of.. well.. right. You met her. Way too busy being amused at Maia being afraid of the dark. Still if all this land used to be lived in, and the forest just ate it, maybe there are some homes somewhere with something to wear. Plus, you know, seeing the scenery. Never miss the opportunity to see the scenery."

"Wouldn't miss it for anything," Preston enthuses in his subdued fashion. He doesn't get worked up over much. Even the recent battle hasn't done much to ruffle his feathers and the encounter with the old lady seemed as amusing to him as Maia's plight was to her. As adventures go, this is proving to be even more exciting than the first one, and they've only just started! He walks along with Jason, at ease within the dark forest thanks to equal parts mellow disposition and sun-blessed eyes that make it seem not so dark after all. "Maybe you'll find some kind of magical garment—enchanted blue jeans or something. Isn't that how these kinds of stories go? 'The Legend Of Jason's Pants'!" he exclaims, framing the absurd notion like an imaginary poster with his hands in front of him.

Jason grumbles, "What really makes it bad is that she did it with fire. I'm no slouch with fire, but whenever I do such things for myself I'm always in and out in a hurry before the clothes can get more than a little singed. She.. really really made a big blaze. I'd be kind of jealous." A wry chuckle, "And I don't know how such stories go. I can probably fight just fine like this, the leather strips of my jacket make perfectly servicable places to holster my guns but.. it's politeness you know. Even most gods go around wearing something even if they really don't have to anymore."

"Well if we can't find something suitable before daylight," Preston offers, "you can have my shirt. You can at least make a loincloth out of it or something. Until then, I really doubt we'll run across anybody who wants to talk to us. I imagine things that eat people usually don't care what they're wearing-or not wearing." He looks about with the easily snared attention of a tourist, noting the minutia of the forest around them.

Jason winces and says, "Being fashionably naked might be better than being dressed in a shirt turned loincloth. But, uh, maybe. Thank you for the offer at any rate. And.. I don't know. You'd be surprised how many things want to talk to you. Even really scary things are often willing to sit down and have a conversation if you don't start trying to chop them to bits the moment you see them."

"I don't think you'd look that good in a diaper. Sure, you have a baby face, but then that would be taking it a bit too far." There's an impish giggle that can be heard with the unfamiliar voice. But where is it coming from?

Preston considers that idea for a moment and concedes with a shrug, "It wouldn't be much more dignified, no. Hmm." He shrugs, giving a nod to accept the thanks. "If it comes to that—" No sooner has Jason shared a tidbit of useful information than it seems about to be proven true. "Well, it looks like covering up now would be a moot point. We already have an audience." He raises his voice to call to the forest around them, unable to pinpoint any direction for the source of the comment. "Hello? Who's there?"

Jason gestures towards the trees and says, "See what I mean. Someone agrees. I mean if you're going to dress up it should at least help you look stylish and not make you look silly while covering up important bits." He let's Preston's questions stand but does add, "And do you happen to know a good place to pick up something flatterying around here?"

"If you think you can survive it and get some silksteel, I can make clothes from that.." the voice chirps merrily, giggling once more. This time it comes from somewhere else, and for just a moment, perhaps the pair sees moving shadows.

"I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that silksteel comes from giant spiders or something," Preston muses, scanning the trees for some sign of the voice's owner, largely for want of a better idea since he doesn't expect to actually spot them. He does a double-take when it looks like the shadows are moving, and thus misses any chance to confirm that or not. "How do we feel about giant spiders?"

Jason lets his eyes play through the treets in search of the source of the voice himself with his ever expanded and telescopic senses. Not that he is really all that good with the dark, alas. As an aside to Preston he says, "I'm not opposed to them if it gets me a fashionable outfit." Louder then, "I'd be quite grateful for what assistance you could provide."

"They are made by giant spiders, but they're all extinct. There is however a giant bird that ate them all and collected their webs to make it's nest!" the voice chirps once more, this time yet in another area. It's much too dark to really see what's going on, unless someone puts a light on.

"Even better!" Preston exclaims, brightening. He looks to Jason, to see if the sentiment is shared. "Giant birds aren't even creepy. Scary, maybe, but not in that totally wrong way." While it has occurred to Preston to light things up, he's favoring discretion in the use of his Boons given their lack of subtlety. Even now he remembers all those freaky reverse-psychology fairy tales about not doing what human nature dictates and thus not agitating the mythical creature that's being pleasantly helpful and civilized…or feeding them enough lies to lure them into a trap. Either way, the dealings are amicable enough with the lights out. He doesn't share these thoughts, but he does have a reason for not lighting up like a beacon. "So where is it?"

"Generally finding something even bigger already ate the big things you were already scared of is not cause for celebration" Jason points out reasonably to Preston, "But we can certainly check out this things nest and see if it has enough of this webbing left to salvage. Hopefully the bird won't even be home and we can make this quick and easy." Calling out again, "Can you show us the way?"

"There is no way to show here in the Dark Forest. You simply must lose your way to find it." the voice maintains, snickering once more.

Sobered by the logical argument presented by Jason, the dancer quells his enthusiasm somewhat to better let the sense of it sink in. "Point," he concedes. "Mostly I just think we dodged a bullet on the spiders thing, but yeah." He stares blandly ahead, jaw skewed, his expression comically un-amused. "How very Zen," he quips. "Okay, so isn't that how we were supposed to find- where we were headed in the first place?"

"Right" Jason says cheerfully enough and he says to Preston, "There you go. Let it confuse you. That will help a lot." TO the darkness and whatever is in it he calls out, "Thank you very much. You've been most helpful. Maybe we'll get lost again later and bump into you again." Then he is simply dragging Preston off into a random direction into the woods, working to get well and truly lost.

"You'll find me again when you least suspect it.." the voice calls out, giggling once more. The Dark Forest is dark! Fortunately, Maia isn't with tnhe pair and hence there is no freaking out, which is a good thing. FOr a while, the pair walks amidst the forest before there's suddenly the feeling of avery strong, almost galeforce like wind.

"Y'know, depending on how you look at it, we're never really lost," Preston muses, mostly because the strangeness of this particular adventure is starting to amuse him. "I mean, no matter where we go-there we are." He makes a thoughtful sound next to Jason and then ponders aloud, "Maybe we should walk backwards, or close our eyes or something, to help us get more-" and then the wind comes and drowns out the rest of what he was saying.

Jason lowers himself closer to the ground while he looks upwards, for a bird perhaps. Wouldn't the beating of large wings create a lot of wind? Looking upwards and drawing his pistols just in case from the leather straps around his arms he says, "Nice philosophy. Don't think it when the whole point is to get lose. I think we got where we needed to be. Look around. See a nest?"

The Dark Forest is dark! The gale force winds continue before suddenly a chirp chirp sound can be heard up ahead.

"I see dark," Preston offers helpfully-only not, in a tone of dry amusement. "I think we know where the bird is." Then the ginormous thing in the dark starts chirping. "Yep." If there's any light at all he should be able to see fairly well, but pitch darkness leaves him in the same fix as anyone else. So his ability to see more than just 'dark' is contingent upon them not being stuck in complete pitch blackness. He looks around as best he can to find the nest, all the same.

Jason quietly begins to move forward, making his way through those dark woods towards that sound of chirping. Where oh where is the nest.

Chirpity chirp chirp! The sound of three baby birds can be heard approximately fourty yards away. Still, it's not a long trek and soon they can just feel wood. Lots of wood that makes the nest itself. THe nest is at least one story high from what they can see, so perhaps the silk steel lines the inside the nest instead. Imagine.. the nest is one story high. How big are the baby birds then?

There's nothing for it but to climb. There might be other ways to get to the threads, but nothing really occurs to Preston. Unfortunately he's started to see this business as one big story, and stories have unwritten rules governing how they play out. It doesn't, for instance, occur to him to wonder why they're going to all this trouble, probably risking life and limb, on the nebulous promise of new pants for Jason at the end of it. He starts the ascent, wary of speaking for fear of alerting the animals to their presence, merely tapping Jason's arm as he begins to that the demigod knows what he's up to.
Jason does not start to climb at once, looking up at Preston as he does so and he offers, "Uh. Listen. It sounds like babies in there, which means there is probably a highly protective mother lurking about. Now.. we don't know these birds. We don't have any cause to want them dead. This doesn't all have to end in bloodshed. I think one of us should stay out here and play distraction to the mother while the other sneaks into the nest and grabs the threads. Going in the nest is maybe the least dangerous course but.. uh.. I don't know. Which job you want?"
Long distance to Preston: Maia wriggles the silly

"Good point," Preston replies, halting his ascent. "Um…well, I could play distraction. I could glow to get the mama bird's attention and then just stay mobile so she couldn't catch me. If I play the evasion game I should be safe." He's hoping, anyway. "I'd rather not have to kill anything if we can help it." He hops down to the ground and takes a step back from the next. "Okay, let me know when you're ready and I'll start."

"Ok" Jason agrees readily enough. Young heroes want to prove themselves with the dangerous jobs, Jason understands how this works! "If you get in trouble start screaming or something. I'll get most of the way up and then wait until I see your glow." With that the Scion of Aphrodite begins to climb, bare feet and hands working him up the outside of the nest as he waits for Preston to go all flare like.

Preston thinks he's taking the least dangerous job. After all, he'll be the one able to move freely and see where he's going. Jason's going to be in close quarters with little feathery eating machines. It's his attempt to be a responsible hanger-on among demigods and still pull his weight. It remains to be seen how wise this notion was, but he readies himself with a quick stretch and then releases the golden light of the sun from his body as he leaps into the air, aimed at the trees with the intent of leading Mama Roc (or Simurgh, or whatevertheheck) on a merry chase through the branches.

Jason waits for that flash of sunlight, and for the feel of wind of big whatever leaving the nest before he finally pulls himself over the edge to slip inside. Finding a place to crouch and instantly playing his eyes over the nest interior in search of these web type bits.

Awww. The 'chibi' birds are cute and adorable. So this is what it must be like for an insect facing hugenormous birdies. The three chirp excitedly as their inside is a nice, soft and plush silksteel. It sustains their weight, so it must be damn strong.

It's suddenly that the flash of light from the chibi hero, Preston catches the eye of the ginormous momma bird. He doesn't know what nhe's facing yet, but it's starting to swoop on in.

If all goes according to plan, Preston will never actually see the giant bird. His aim is to become a frustrating, tantalizing bobbing light among the branches, bounding from tree to tree in a patternless escape, staying ahead of the bird as best his legs will carry him.
Jason takes just a moment to finger a greek charachtar on the handle of one of his guns, a brief shimmer surrounding him for a moment as a protective shield comes into being between him and the baby birds. Just because.. erm.. they really are big.. and hungry.. and Jason would rather not become occupied by being their dinner as he is in the midst of gathering. Finding a spot as out of the way as possible yet still containing that silksteel he begins working to pull the strings lose, gathering the surprisingly tough material.

FYI once more. The giant spiders that make the silksteel, they have flashing bright lights in the Dark Forest. It's how they find a mate. And it's also how they get eaten by the giant bird. Fortunately for Preston, the bright lights arent what the bird attacks as it swoops down for the body of the spider to get a better grasp. The bright lights are on the head, and so, there are crashes of trees /BEHIND/ the hopping Scion. Nature works in mysterious ways sometimes.

Still, the crashes of the trees around them excite the chibies. They're several tons each and their excitement cause them to stomp around on the nest, causing it to shake. Hopefully Jason doesn't fall into one of their mouths.

Bounding like a will 'o the wisp through the ancient trees, Preston flees through the thickest tangles of branches, those that he can traverse with ease but which his considerably more sizeable pursuer will be hard-pressed to simply maneuver around. His light scatters through the branches, making his exact location difficult to pinpoint. It occurs to him that he hasn't planned for where to rendezvous after Jason has the thread he needs. Something to work out once he's dimmed his light and hidden from the bird, he decides. Once it's abandoned the chase to go tend to its nestlings.

Ack! Jason works to keep his balance, hand grasping onto silk steel before he continues to grab it once again. One thing about a lack of shoes, at least, is being able to dig your toes into the wood to better get your balance. Still he collects collects collects, working to get enough of the precious material for a full set of clothes while Preston continues to play the distraction beyond the nest's walls.

Momma bird is getting annoyed. Do you know how difficult it is to feed three chibis that size of a two story house? They eat a lot! And this 'spider' is much faster than anticipated. It's eyes widen as it tries to serpent's gaze the spider, but when there's no head for it to mess up, it's really not that effective! Hurry! Collect more! Jason needs new clothes, right?

Okay, so maybe this is dangerous. It's very probable that the slightest misstep is going to find Preston sliding down an uber-bird's gullet. All the same, the thrill is exhilarating, he the Baldurling can't help but grin as he bounds from bough to bough, trunk to trunk, leaping hither and yon to stay as far ahead of the giant bird as he can. He finds himself laughing, exulting in the sheer unbridled joy of movement. That's mostly because he's not looking back. If he were to do that the gravity of the situation might politely remind him of its existence and kill his buzz faster than a poorly timed telemarketer call.
Jason hurries! Really he does. Lacking anything like pockets at the moment, thus the point of this whole expedition, he simply winds up bundling silk into his arms. Bundle bundle bundle until he gets enough for what he needs. Hands tied up it means that after he has that assortment he is jumping out, first to the rim of the nest and then down to the ground below.

Ring ring! It's a telemarketer! No, it's not.

Still, by this point, Jason has all the silksteel he needs and then some. Meanwhile, there's something that goes to grab Preston's foot and pulls him into the darkness, and the same familiar giggling can be heard. "Put out your light, firefly."

If sunlight came with sound effects, if anyone who could command, coerce, plead with, finagle, or otherwise utilize the power of the Sun would ever stoop to something so undignified as sound effects, that's what turning the high beams off would sound like. Preston doesn't need much persuading to kill the light. It happens before he's even finished yelping in a split-second's alarm and processed the notion that he is safe from being eaten. Around that time he wonders what he /isn't/ safe from, but decides not to fuss. "Thank you," he whispers to the giggling voice.
Jason for his part has no idea where any of this going on. However. Operating on the principle that the woods seem to ahdere too so far he simply darts off randomly with his armload of silk. Possibly running into Preston and the giggler in the process.

It would make sense to follow the trail of destruction from the momma bird, right? And if he does follow that trail, he does end up with the same giggling girl once more.

Now that she was all nestled up close to Preston, he'll find that the girl nherself was naked, her ample bosom against his back since he fell into her lap. Her skin is soft and supple an quite delicate too as she starts to push him off. "Your friend should be arriving soon."

Well, that's quite nice. Preston obligingly climbs out of the nude girl's lap out of concern for her comfort and turns to favor her with a smile. "It's very selfless of you to offer to make clothing for someone else when you don't have any yourself. I'm sure he'll be very grateful." As adventures go, this one is fast becoming his favorite if for nothing other than this particular encounter. He settles in to wait, hunkering down across from her. "My name's Preston," he offers, seeing no harm in polite introductions.
Jason follows destruction. Sure. Eventually coming into sight of Preston and his well bossomed companion. A quirk of his brow and he says, "I see you found company. Is this the mysterious voice that we heard before. I think I got enough silk, I have a rather hefty armload of it."

"My name is Zria.." she says matter of factly as a little frog hops up on her shoulder and ribbits towards the two. "I am one of the few Vanir who continues to remain here in Vanaheim,or rather, what has merged with the Dark Forest.." she whines a little before patting the frog on her shoulder.

"And this is Voydyanoy, spirit of water." she explains before looking back towards Jason with the armload of silksteel. "Aaah, I see you weren't eaten!" she chirps merrily.

"It's an honor to meet you both," Preston replies, bowing his head slowly as he smiles to Zria. "It sounds lonely," he ventures, sounding sympathetic, with just a touch of implication that he'd be willing to help ease that. It's not deliberate, or at least not premeditated. Just then, Jason arrives with his bundle of silk, and the dancer grins. "Looks like our plan worked. So that's silksteel, huh?"

Jason wryly flashes Zria a smile, "And here I was hoping to get a set of clothing just not to inadvertantly give any offense to the local denizens. It appears however that nudity is perfectly acceptable. I'm.. not quite certain what is going on with your home and this forest but I do thank you for the help you earlier offered. It's a pleasure to meet you Zria, Voydyanoy. I'm Jason, son of Aphrodite." The armful of silksteel is offered. "I sure hope it is" Jason says in answer to Preston's question.

"That it is.." she says firmly and resolutely, her eyes almost glowing in the dark as she takes the silksteel and hrmms for a few moments, just inspecting it for abit. "Our clothes were made of this, until they assimilated with the Aesir. Our two most powerful joined first in tribute, Freya and Freyr, and in the end we were tricked by Himir because of Odin. None of us want to get involved with Ragnarok.." she says quite bitterly.

Preston suffers a pang of guilt he probably doesn't need to as Zria laments the woeful state of the Vanir, offering what apology he can with a weak smile. "That's a sentiment I think most of us can agree with," he says.

Jason studies Zria thoughtfully, and not in a, simply pondering her nudity sort of way. "There may be other options, if you are amiable to discussing such. I realize this land is an old home to you but.. I've recently gained access to another world until recently occupied by my mother. If you do not simply wish to join with the Aesir there may be.. other options. Other possibilities." Wryly, "You're properly dressed to take up residence in that place at least, and it might be a way to join the fight and fray again without being bound by the ties of Ragnarok upon you."

Some timelater…

Well then! Jason and Preston eventually make their return to the makeshift camp in the middle of the Dark Forest. The Scion of Aphrodite is no longer nude, yay! While he continues to wear the makeshift leather armband holsters and carrysack he also now wears clothing of greyish silk that sims well fit to display his figure and allow ease of movement. Huzzah for Vanir Russian fashionista goddesses. "Hello?" he calls out upon arriving, "You two decent? Presents."

For his part, Haldor is decent. The Viking swings out of one of the tree branches, cocking his head to one side as he studies Jason and Preston. A wry smile spreads over the Viking's face as he points at Jason.

"Something's different about you. Did you go and get a hair cut while you were out?"

Maia is all naked, hot and sweaty. No really she is. She peers out of the little makeshift tent as she peers towards the people arriving and wrinkles her nose before idly running her fingers through her hair.

"Uh.. nice to see you got lost and found us again!" she chirps merrily. "And oooh, presents!"

Godric stuck around the camp while Preston went gallivanting through the dark woods with Jason, so at the first whiff of his person the Lundie raises his head and points his nose toward the direction the pair approaches from. Preston ambles alongside Jason looking pretty much the same as ever, save that he's carrying a bundle under each arm, one of them arguably more colorful than the other once they reach the light of the campfire. "Apparently the best way to find something is to not look for it. Pretty deep, huh?"

Jason explains, "Went clothes shopping. Sort of. As much as you can in a dark forest. Steelsilk it's called, great stuff, comfortable and strong. I guess all the Vanir used to make their clothing out of it before the forest got all big and expanded. Then some giant bird ate all the spiders." Pause and he shakes his head to simply offer out outfits, "I think these should fit. We found a pretty good tailor."

The Viking tilts his head at Jason's explanation. It both makes sense and is mildly concerning - big birds that can eat vast quantities of spiders swiftly? Yeah, that could get difficult if they run into them, the forest is pretty tight quarters so far as the Viking has seen.

"That's pretty handy. I disintegrated my shirt and hoody. These new duds got pockets?"

"My clothes got ripped.."

Maia just shiftyeyes for a few moments as she remains behind Haldor before peering at the silksteel. Oh look! It's a simple white dress made of silk! That will do! She beams brightly and wriggles her fingers, trying to get Jason to nhand it to her as she doesn't want to just expose herself afterall.

"Thanks Jason! I never heard of silksteel, but hey, we're in an overworld.."

"It's pretty comfortable," states Preston. He's already switched out for the divinely made threads, and now takes a knee to offer his trusty pup some reassuring head-scritches and fussing over. He looks up, smirks when it occurs to him Maia's wearing nothing but Haldor's obscuring bulk, and gives the pair a curious look before opting to leave well enough alone. "Haven't checked for pockets," he says, sounding surprised. This prompts him to pat the garments to see if they do in fact have such things.

Jason quirks a brow at the bits of naked Maia visible and then he is offering over the dress towarsd Maia without making her reveal any more of herself, it would just look silly on Haldor after all. "I'd never heard of it either but it's nice stuff. She was a nice lady, and yeah, there are pockets in the pants. So. Getting lose does seem to work pretty well in this place for getting to what you're looking for."

Haldor notices he has a naked Maia beind him. In his mind, Haldor facepalms though he manages to avoid doing so physically; instead he just kind of shuffles about to help hide Maia. Only once Maia's gotten her dress on does he reach out for whatever clothing remains that should, presumably, fit him.

"Elli's no Guerrero," is Haldor's cryptic reply.

Yay! There was shuffling! Maia lets out a teehee as she puts it all on and seems to like the fit. It's a simple dress, very sheer considering what it's made of, and probably reveals more than it really should. Silksteel is a very thing fabric afterall. She pauses, her cheeks flushed a bright tinge of red as she snickers softly and looks towards the others.

"Great, they made neligee. That works.." So it really was a dress, but due to fabric, it looks like she belongs in the bedroom. Oh well.

"Oh yeah, she said something about Haldor having to face her again someday. Odd lady, but decent."

"I'm hoping she doesn't want to wrestle me like she did Pop."

Haldor shudders at the mere thought, pulling his new hoody on over his head. The Viking shrugs his shoulders a little bit, trying to get it to lay just the way he likes. When he finally does, Haldor produces his drumsticks and shoves them in his pockets. Much as he'd like to stow Bruce Lee's hands in his hoody pockets, it's probably a better idea to stow his Yip Man infused drumsticks somewhere more respectful than his pants.

"Now that we're all the vanguard of overworld fashion, what happens next?" Preston asks, looking up from petting Godric.

"Yeah" Jason says eying Maia thoughtfully, "I was having my doubt about the whole silk pajamas look but at least she didn't put me in a dress. Good goddess. Nice goddess." A dubious look towards the trees and he says, "Speaking of which. We need to ponder our next step, lots of power sorts are working on holding back this forest and failing. I'm not sure what we're likely to encounter on the way out, but there are surely some pretty potent things roaming around us."

"I think that's what she meant, hun."

Maia smiles cheerily towards Haldor, patting him gently on the shoulder before heading back to scoop up the still sleeping Drake in her arms. Wriggly puppy isn't wriggly for he's asleep still. He's a growing pup afterall.

"We're in an Overworld that belonged to the Vanir. I think we need to be zen about things and lose our way to Asgard or Yggdrasil. Perhaps if we go to Asgard first, we may find Baldur or Sif who can tell us more about what happened to Thor?"

Haldor frowns and snorts a chill fog at Maia's response. The Viking folds his arms across his chest while looking slowly around the base camp. After a few moments of considering directions, he looks back toward Jason and Preston.

"Wherever we go, we're going to have to be real careful about running into stuff from the forest."

"I think we can keep ourselves from at least one of the things living here if we make a point of looking really hard for a giant bird," Preston offers with a grin, after Jason brings up the things that might be haunting the woods around them. "Other than that, getting lost should be pretty easy. I've been completely lost since I got here." He grins broadly, chuckling as he stands up. "Maybe if we go looking for a fight, any fight, we'll have a nice quiet trip to wherever the forest decides we need to wind up."

"I.. don't know if it works quite like that" Jason says cautiouslly to Preston, "But we very much need to figure out where we are going. I can see the advantages of checking with parents first, although that did not help much in Olympus. Especially if things are time critical heading right towards the badness might be a good idea."

"Kamui had subordinates that were on our level. He had a Bruce Lee jiangssi, and a taoist who could control the jiangsi, and apparently the young brother of said taoist. It's going to be difficult, so this time we need to have the element of surprise. I think it might work considering the nature of this place. You just kinda end up where you will yourself to be, right?"

Maia's been observing what's going on, and that's what she had noticed. You just walk and end up somewhere afterall. She nhrmms for a few moments and wrinkles her nose once more.

"So if we're doing that, then we should make a plan first,maybe?"

"Muninn and Hugin said Kamui was sapping the life from Yggdrasil and there was an army of… Did they say fire giants or frost giants?"

Haldor looks to Maia, assuming that she has an eidetic memory. She is the one with all the Super Intelligence, after all.

"It was just a theory," Preston replies sunnily, offering up a shrug. As to the planning, he has nothing immediate to offer.

Jason frowns a touch and he says, "I don't know what they said. As for plans.. uh.. I don't know. We know Kamui seems to like traps and ambushes to keep us occupied. I think he'll stick with that, it seems his nature. Which means we at least need to get at least Haldor through things faster than he expects to disrupt his plans before they can fully come to fruition. I'm not sure how we do that, Kamui will be surely be looking." Frowning again he offers, "If Haldor can cloak himself in shadows. I might go in posing as him with an illusionary visage. Kamui, watching will see that and think he has more time than he has."

"He is with Sinmore, wife of Sutr himself and queen of the fire giants."

And there's the creepy old lady, Elli once more, letting out an amused cackle under her breath. She's wearing a simple robe once more as she peers towards the gathered group and bows her head.

"The man who is at Yggdrasil is rather intelligent. He went to the disgruntled wife of Surtr who wants to see Yggdrasil burn to a crisp. He knows which allies he has to approach to get this done."

And that's when Maia blinks blankly. She was about to answer fire giants, but it seems the old crone answered the question for her. She idly runs her fingers through her hair and hrmphs for a few moments, taking a deep breath as she looks towards the others.

"I can take her."

Haldor whips his head to look at Elli, one red eyebrow arching at her. At Maia's grumbling and comment, Haldor grunts back, subtly waving her off with one hand. The Viking regards Elli thoughtfully for several moments before rolling his shoulders again.

"And what would you suggest we do, Elli?"

Godric perks up as the crone appears, but doesn't bark or growl or otherwise display apprehension. Preston seems to take her arrival in stride as well, but Maia's claim that she can 'take' a fire giantess has him looking sharply to her, concerned. He prudently keeps quiet to let this play out, watching Haldor intently.

"Oh ho ho ho! A rather confident one! No wonder your father has taken a liking to your significant other, Thorson. Child, do not throw your life away, Sinmore is three hundred feet tall and the wife of one of the major Titan Avatars of Fire. She will burn you to a crisp my dear."

Elli smiles warmly, bowing her head towards the pair before focusing back on the Thorson once more.

"What do I suggest you do? Oh me oh my, I am just here trying to keep the Dark Forest at bay from consuming the rest of Vanaheim. There is also an army of at least two dozen regular fire giants around Sinmore. You are going against major odds. Then you have the dark onmyouji himself, Kamui. The odds are not in your favor." she says firmly and resolutely.

"The odds or not, we have to fight."

And that's Maia once more as she hrmms for afew moments as she chews on her bottom lip, the gears in her brain continuing to turn.

Haldor folds his arms across his chest, in case he hasn't already, as he gazes at Elli. For a few moments the Viking remains silent, thoughtful perhaps, as he considers an appropriate response to Elli's words. A slow, sly smile spreads across Haldor's face as he continues to regard Elli.

"Tell me. What would you suppose would happen if Sinmore and her army found themselves here in the Dark Forest?"

"Um, excuse me?" Preston even goes so far as to raise his hand as he makes his bid for Elli's attention. "You wouldn't happen to be willing to tell us how to get an army to match theirs, would you?" He looks guiltily to his companions after asking, becoming aware that he might be overstepping some unspoken boundary in dealing with the locals. Or worse, asking a stupid question.
"We could try talking to this fire giantess" Jason offers, "I don't know what exactly Kamui has offered her, but perhaps we could offer her something else in turn. Slipping past the two dozen giants might be tough, although I at least could probably handle the heat long enough to get a few words in edgewise." Frowning he looks over to Preston, "Did she ever say if silksteel is fireproof or not?"

"The forest would burn and we would have the land of the Vanir the way it was before. But yes, I am telling you that perhaps you need to even the odds a bit. You have a young woman who can do it afterall."

Elli grins towards Maia once more as she lets out a soft chuckle escape from her lips as she looks towards the gathered four.

"Haldor must fight Kamui. That has been destined. But none of you would be able to take on Sinmore herself. She was seduced by Kamui using Aphrodite's powers to help in this quest to burn the World Tree.."

Again, Maia /was/ going to get to that. She's fully aware that she can summon various spirits to her aid, those with lower or equal legend to her as long as she knows the name. She knows of at least one rather powerful spirit, and there are other kami whom she knows and of course, there's Sojobo and Tatsu themselves.

She looks backtowards the others and idly runs her fingers through her hair.

"That will take time. I can maybe only get a few here lest we risk having Thor turned into a human."

And Elli quickly adds, "Yes, silksteel is fireproof."

"Ironically," Preston replies to Jason, "it never came up." When Elli supplies helpful clarification, he shrugs and gestures toward the Crone. "There we go."

Jason rubs at his eyes and he says, "If this Sinmore was seduced by Kamui by use of my mothers power then resolving that situation is to some degree my responsibility." A faint grimace, "Not that I know what I can do, my mother is of course vastly more powerful than I am but erhaps she missed something."

"I think we have to consider dragging the fire giants into the Dark Forest. If we can, we ought to return Vanaheim to its proper glory… Not to mention that it would help even the odds in our favor, wouldn't you say?"

Haldor smiles broadly at his comrades, arms still folded over his chest. The Viking glances toward Jason, tilting his head thoughtfully, "Sinmore was seduced to Kamui's side by your mother's power… But was Sinmore's army?"

"Her army follows her fanatically. They are hers to command. They will die if she wishes it. But I have said enough, the rest you must figure out on your own."

And with that Elli disappears,letting out another high pitched cackle.

Maia looks back towards the remaining three and wrinkles her nose as she just sits there for now.

"So what's the plan of attack, oh fearless leader?"

Preston looks to his cousin when the big Viking starts to speak, mulling over the proposition for a moment before offering an emphatic nod of agreement. "Whatever the plan is, count me in," he assures, returning the smile.

Jason simply looks towards Haldor with a raised brow. Yes. What is the plan?

Elli's final revelation clearly throws a monkey wrench in Haldor's plans. The Viking lifts a hand from his chest to rub at his chin, Haldor's gaze shifting toward space as considers things. For the moment, Haldor doesn't seem to have a plan…

Though he's clearly working on one.

"Sinmore is their queen, from the sounds of it. It doesn't mean that every one of them will die for her. Surely their minds are weak and we can take advantage of a few rebels. In every army there's a rebel."

And that's Maia giving Haldora subdued smile as she starts wracking her brain once more. She looks towards the other two, canting her head to the side as she peers towards them.

"So any of you have any suggestions?"

Preston puffs out his cheeks as he vents a sigh through pursed lips, giving Maia a helpless look when she puts he and Jason on the spot. "No clue. How did you want to lure the giants here, Haldor? What would we have that they'd want, to make it worth abandoning a duty they're apparently fanatical about? What you're saying about rebels sounds like it contradicts that, Maia, but we can hope. Are we heading straight there or did we still want to go to Asgard first? Or is Yggdrasil there?" He chuckles weakly and shakes his head. "It feels like I should know all this stuff already, but…" he shrugs, letting the obvious speak for itself. Clearly he does not.

Jason clears his throat, "Well again I think it best we keep in mind our enemy and his tactics. Kamui likes to conceal and to distract. He has done so regularly, whatever he is doing is time consuming and the giants are there just to keep us busy. I think I should disguise myself in illusions as Haldor to confuse whatever Kamui has set up to watch us when we emerge from the forest, Haldor meanwhile should travel by stealth and engage him, taking him by surprise before his plans have time to fully come to fruition. I have to find this giantess, wooed by my mothers power I'm likely to be the best counter to that. If fate is throwing me in any direction in this whole affair, it is there. Preston.. Maia.. I'm not sure what you two should do. If either of you can travel with Haldor I am sure he could use the help against Kamui which is the real fight, but going into a pack? of fire giants is not exactly going to be the safest of activities either."

"I like Jason's plan, but my idea was to have him somehow cause Sinmore and her army to chase him into the Dark Forest here. He could probably give them the slip pretty quickly after leading them into its depths and escape back to Yggdrasil's roots."

Haldor rubs his chin slowly, still staring thoughtfully off into space. The Viking nods slightly at Jason's question about Preston and Maia. One is not nearly on the power level of the rest of the team, while the other is probably the best support unit here. It's hard to decide just how to use them effectively.

"…" For a bit, Maia just stares at them like this: -.-

"They're fire giants. Two dozen fire giants, not including Sinmore herself. If you want her to be brought here, Jason can probably do that, but you're forgetting something."

She eases on up and concentrates for a few moments, her ring starting to glow as a sphere of water starts forming in her hands. She grins wryly towards the group and bows herhead.

"Water beats fire. If you need someone to protect Preston, got that covered too." and she starts nudge nudging at Drake. The puppy can fight afterall.

Something Preston's been trying really hard not to think about seems to be cropping up prominently in the discussion. He exchanges rueful looks with Godric before speaking up. "There's got to be something I can do besides be dead weight," he says, an almost imploring tone creeping into his words. "I don't want to tie up necessary resources," he looks to the shiba puppy, well aware of how formidable Drake can be when he's not milking the cuteness. "What we're doing is too important. I might be able to get into places you can't because I'm—well, such a small blip on the radar, as it were."

Jason gives a thoughtful nod tugging on his lower lip and he says, "Nothing says we can't do both. I try to use every bit of the gifts my mother gave me to shift her from whatever path my mother has set her upon. Perhaps some common ground can be found, in Kamui seduced her to this cause perhaps I can do the same in reverse and bring her to her cause in this fight. If not.. uh.. I sure as hell am going to need to run away and I might as well run here." Looking over towards Maia he asks, "That is likely to take some time. Which is good, letting Haldor get closer to Kamui and maybe engages him. Can you use that time to rig a trap here? Something really nasty?"

"Preston, you and Godric have ambushing Sinmore's ranks when Jason brings them back in here. Take 'em down as quickly as you can, trust me on this."

Haldor gives Preston and one of those brotherly meaningful looks to impart some extra meaning to his words. The Viking looks toward Maia and nods at Jason's thoughts on the matter.

"Maia, we're going to need traps in here to keep Sinmore and whatever troops may get past Preston and Godric's ambushes busy. /BUSY/."

The Viking shifts his attention toward Jason and smirks.

"Looks like you and me get the interesting jobs. You need anything to help you with the illusion?"

The Viking has just assuaged the only fear Preston's heart seems to have room for. Fire giants don't scare him. Being benched? Horrifying beyond words. The dancer looks up with a broad grin that spoils his attempt to look resolute and somber, but his sharp, vigorous nod says everything it needs to. In addition to showing complete assurance that he has his task under control, he also lets slip a bit more gratitude than he'd intended. Godric receives Haldor's instructions with a quick, affirmative bark.

"Traps? Well I guess I could do something."

There are lots of bakemono that she could summon, all interesting with their own sets of powers. She wrinkles her nose as she decide to go for the easiest, the two pervert spirits from the shrine at Ise. Konchi and Ponchi, which ironically enough, sound like the Japanese words for 'penis' and 'testicles'.

"Let me get two of the most annoying and mischevious kami to helpout. We'll annoy the shit out of Sinmore.." she says, with a soft chuckle under her breath. "And Preston, you'll be fine. You'll kick fire giant ass.." she says with a cheery smile as she starts pulling out her kokurri board.
"A few strands of hair" Jason says to Haldor, "Anything that is actually a part of you will help me bolster the illusion and hair is happily not.. uh.. messy." A serious nod to Maia and Preston, "Hopefully she will be charmed and cheerily march off against Kamui but.. with my mothers power backing things it's likely the forest will see some action."

At first, Haldor's response to Jason is a nod. His right hand reaches out to the side, his ring glowing faintly as a jagged knife of ice suddenly freezes into existence in his grip. The Viking reaches up, left hand grabbing hold of one of his spikey locks of red hair, using his ice knife to neatly cut the red spike of hair off.

With that accomplished, Haldor holds out his left hand to Jason, hair in it. His right hand spins the ice knife a few times before the knife "explodes" into a small shower of snow that dusts the Dark Forest's floor.

"We'll be ready," Preston assures Jason, grinning over at Maia as she endorses his giant-kicking prowess. "My first giant," he muses. "Is there a merit badge for that?"

Jason accepts the handfull of hairs, tucking them away into one pocket and a deep breath being taken before the air around him begins to ripple and warp. Familiar features of Jason shifting and transforming into those of Haldor. It's quite a convinction illusion! Mostly. Like all illusions there is a slight flaw, Jason's hands not quite as tear things apart as Haldor's but still. Convincing!


Two absurd looking creatures apear on the kokurri board, their forms immaterial for now. Alas, Maia doesn't have enough oomph to bring them here completely, which is definitely a good thing at this point.

"Hentai Brothers are here! Look Maia-sama! My balls have grown!"

And that's the taunki amongst the pair. Tanukis are a very idiosynchratic myth amongst the Amatsukami. It's a racoon dog that is characterized by huge testicles. "I can trap spirits with my balllllllls."
<OOC> Maia says, "Sorry. I couldn't help it. I was watching Shaman King, and yeah.."
<OOC> Maia waits for people's IC reactions ^_^

Right.. it is.. right.. Jason simply stares at Maia and her newfound companions and flashes her Haldor's best smile. "Right. I feel much better about going into the middle of a small army of fire giants now to try to woo their muderous queen. Thank you for that incredigly large balled spirit." Enough planning! Enough balls! Jason takes off for the woods, setting upon getting quite thoroughly lost while looking for Sinmore.

It's often said that pets can resemble their owners, but this is the closest Preston and Godric have come to looking like one another as they both raise an eyebrow, or the doggie equivalent thereof, in perfect unison. "That's different," Preston muses, staring helplessly at the strange spirits Maia's conjured up.

Haldor offers Maia his best smile as well. The Viking promptly takes a step backward into a shadow. Before the shadow has even completely obscured him from view, Haldor has winked out of existence. Only the echo of his voice testament to his existence having ever been.

"Take of Maia, Drake. Love you, Maia."

"Love you, Hal.." and before she can finish, he's winked out of existence.

"WAAAAAAH! He's gone!" squeaks one of the spirits, bouncing up and down. "He's going to face Kamui-sama!"

"Haldor can handle him." she says confidently as she looks towards the other pair. "These two have worked with Kamui. This much I know. They've worked with every single onmyouji in training. It's a test to see if we have the patience to deal with all kinds of kami. So, we're going to learn more about Kamui and his weaknesses. Right, Konchi and Ponchi?"

As if wary of being somehow teabagged at a distance or otherwise molested by the grotesqueries Maia has conjured, Preston approaches to venture a better look at their reinforcements before looking to their summoner. "You can make them do that?" he asks. The little beasties seem rather willful. "That'd be handy. I can see where this would be a litmus test of sorts." Summoning the lecherous spirits, he means.

"Of course I can! It's very simple." Maia gets a mischevious glint in her eyes as she wrinkles her nose and chuckles softly before looking towards the two. "Should I tell them what to do if you misbehave?"

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOES!" they shout out together, suddenly covering themselves once more.

Out of sight. Out of mind. Jason-cum-Haldor is wandering out of the Dark Forest. Those shadowy depths seem a poor place for Kamui to observe, but the exit? That is likely something he would be having watched. And if so what his spies are reporting back is surely that Haldor has set off to deal with the distraction first, leaving him free to complete his wicked devious Kamuiplans.

For some reason, Preston suspects whatever punitive measures one takes against the lecherous spirits would hurt to think about. Inexplicably, he suffers the barely restrained urge to cover himself, and winces sympathetically. "Well, then," he replies, "it's good to know-" he considers his words carefully "-we're all agreeing to cooperate." She can summon spirits and command them with impunity. He has no more sway over them than the next guy, and they are powerful supernatural beings. "But would he have told them anything?"

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