|Scene Title||Seducing Sinmore|
|Synopsis||Jason seduces Sinmore. Meanwhile, Maia and Preston fight an army of fire giants.|
And so, Jason has finally arrived out of the Dark Forest itself into the golden fields of Vanaheim. It's lush and off in the distance is a large tree. It's bigger than any that he's seen in the forest itself, and damn, they were already some taller trees. But with his epic perception, he'll notice fires. Lots of fires. And they probably aren't just fires, but the jotun being led by a 300 foot tall woman in Viking gear.
Jason does absolutely nothing to conceal himself at first, he /wants/ to be seen leaving that forest. Wants it known that Haldor is in the area, that being part of the reason of this whole expedition after all. He continues to move closer to those fires, waiting for a curve of land suitable to conceal him from prying eyes and affording many entrances and exits. Under such cover Jason lets the disguise slip before advancing upon those fires and the giants. No getting Haldor into trouble with possible fire giantess love.
Haldor in trouble with fire jotun love would be bad. There would be Maia smiting! And she's a good smiter!
Still, there is epic perceptiveness on Kamui's part. His already almond eyes squint as he recognizes his rival and soon, the horns of the jotun can be heard as fire starts traveling in Jason's direction. Fortunately for him, he's no longer the red haired viking and is back to his suave self. Off in the distance, the army of jotun stomps much like the army of orcs awaiting to siege the towers in the TOlkien books. Even though there's only twenty or so, they are all at least the size of a two story house!
Kamui is like Sauron. Scary. Jason continues to slip closer to the line of fire giants before he channels the wind to carry his voice afar, past those rank and file soldiers and towards the leader that exists somewhere behind them. "The giantess Sinmore, I am Jason, child of Aphrodite. I would pay my respects and speak to you in person. May I have safe passage through your lines?"
The haughty Sinmore blinks blankly for a few moments, stopping her charge as she puts her massive arm up in the sky. Still, she hrmms for a few moments and nods, her voice booming as she's maybe only a mile or so away from him now. She runs herfingers through her red hair and motions towards the remaining jotunin front of her. "Let the little man come forth."
Far be it from Jason to waste that moment set up, he steps out of cover with his spine straight. The fashionable recently obtained silken garments flow about him as he moves, strides carrying him directly towards that battle line and seeking to pass through it to Sinmore's location.
Jason is small. Very small. Even though he's quite tall for a mortal or even a Scion, six feet compares nothing to creatures that are at the small range the size of a typical house, and at Sinmore's level, the size of the a major skyscraper. As he approaches, she hrmms, bringing down her hand for him to step on so she can peer at him. "What do you wish to speak with me about?" No, she's not looking into his eyes, cause that's kinda hard to do.
Jason is certainly feeling rather tiny, it's true! He's also never seen a woman with breasts so large, shame it requires his telescopic senses to actually look up that high. "You currently march to battle at the whim of a man known as Kamui. He.. utilized the powers of my mother to make this happen, the Goddess Aphrodite. I would speak of him, I would speak of her, in hopes of fully restoring to you your own freedom of action."
Her boobies are ginormous. It's all blubba blubba blubba! These are like 1,000,000 ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzs in size. If there were such a thing to exist. Still, his comment gets a raise of her brows. "Kamui, the wonderful man, he told me that there would be those who would try to get me away from his love. While he could never turn me against Surtr, he did say that there would be people, enemies of my husband that would try to talk me from his path. Yggdrasil needs to burn."
Jason shakes his head not that she can probably even see it and he says, "And I would not try to tell you that love is false, for I know well how true the love granted by my mothers gifts can be. Wonderful he may seem to you, but do you not in part admire him for his devious mind, his manipulative nature? Surely you love him for what he is, and you have had some time to come to realize this. Ask yourself.. do you normally love so quickly? So thoroughly? Ask that and think of the man and at least consider that what I say is true, how does that shape what you feel? Yggdrasil is not my concern."
"I do admire him for his devious mind and manipulative nature. He is a strong man and that is what I want." she says matter of factly, snickering softly under her breath. "Tell me, what do you want from me?"
"For you to open your mind to possibilities" Jason says to Sinmore, "You admire his nature, but I assure you that he is only looking out for himself. However much you love him you must also know that he is a very selfish man. I killed another woman that loved him on my way here, a beautiful puppetress who answered to his will and perished for him ambitions. Yggdrasil suffers. All the forces around you are in disarray, chaos as a result but waiting for what comes next. Why don't you come next? There are opportunities to be seized, the situation to be exploited.
"And what situation is to be exploited? You think he will betray me? I will crush the tiny little man should he try to betray me." Sinmore replies, her eyes opening wide, the embers on her body and hair flaring up and burning a few animals near her. Fortunately for you, her hand remains cooler than the rest of her.
"He has already betrayed you" Jason assures her as he continues to look towards her as best he can while she continues to get fiery. "Did I just tell you how he already used another woman as his pawn? Sent her to her doom to delay me and mine a little. Is this not exactly where he pits you and your forces? A delaying tactic. A.. preoccupation. If he held you in any true respect would you not be there at his side? Would he not have you present to witness his triumph?" Wryly he adds, "Are there not stories of the beautiful Greek woman recently in these lands? Wherever she is, surely is his new love, his next tool.""
"You think you can slay me, Sinmore, queen of the Jotun?" There's a booming laugh that resonates in the fields of vanaheim and Yggdrasil as she shakes her head. "But the fact that he used another woman asapawn bothers me. I am no one's pawn. I am the queen!" she continues, her fist pumping up in the air as the rest of her retine cheer in response.
Jason chuckles and shakes his head, "Why would I seek to slay you Queen of the Jotun? It would be more satisfying by far to make you moan in pleasure than to seek an end to you. You are a powerful Queen to your people and they need you." More seriously then, his divine charm backing the words, "And you are right that you are nobodies pawn. You are the Queen. Do not ask yourself what has Kamui asked you to do, what do you /want/ to do? Where do you want to lead your forces?"
"On Asgard itself! I will slay the Valkyrie Brunhildr and all those who opposore me! For the glory of Muspelheim!" she shouts, causing her men to chant in unison. She's getting them pumped up!
Can Asgard handle a fire giant assault? Jason sure hopes so since that seems to be just what he is arranging. "Now that is a goal worthy of the Queen of the Jotun" Jason assures her with that voice, "That is a goal that will truly show the glory of Musphelheim!" Right. He's doing his own part for getting her pumped up.
Asgard can handle a fire giant assault! It's a daily occurence! That's why the other gods aren't taking care of this themselves. They're kind of too busy trying to not die up there. Still, Sinmore bellows happily and looks down towardsJason, smiling brightly the entire. "Yes, for his glory!"
Jason pumps his fist in false enthusiasm, but he is a good actor, it looks very convincing! "Your beauty and your wisdom already honor him. These deeds can only do so even more!" Right. Giants have a new objective that is not helping the bad guy! Success. Jason gives a bow of his head and says, "Thank you for hearing me out Queen Sinmore."
Success indeed! But what about all the preparation that they did! Surely any giants who go to Asgard will suffer a humiliating defeat at the hands of Freyr! And it is not the time of Ragnarok yet, so noneof the gods will die. But it is not Sinmore's time either so it will truly be a glorious battle.
Excited by the prospects, Sinmore decides to head in another direction. "To Asgard!"
Jason gives another bow before rising and fluidly stepping into a nearby flame. Given the sheer proximity of fire giants there are flames everywhere! This is convenient. It's mostly a way to get away in a hurry, the Scion of Aphrodite flickering away to one of the more distant flames they left in their wake transporting himself within the flames. Vroom.
Meanwhile, back in the Dark Forest Proper
So Jason, presumably, has left or in the process of leaving the forest behind him wearing the appearance of a viking who is really not at all Jasonlike. If Kamui should have watchers at the exit (surely far easier than hiding them within the forests confusing navigation zone) then they are seeing that man heading in quite the wrong direction. Moving towards the distraction that the fire giants provide rather than towards Kamui itself, hopefully convincing the dark scion he has ample time for his plans and nothing to worry about in the short term.
A young life spent taking dance classes instead of, say, building tree forts or playing in dirt leave Preston ill-prepared to try and competently set traps of any sort. Midway through the effort he found he was hard-pressed to remember who put the idea in his head in the first place. However, there are trees and he has axes and if the giants are in a hurry they might not notice how many of them are poised to fall now at the slightest provocation. It was a way to kill time while waiting for Jason and the anticipated rushing horde of fire giants, and it was good exercise. While he remains unsure of precisely what he's done, he feels proud of it. It just takes some effort to remember not to lean against any of the trees. This is his battlefield, or more comfortably the stage where he'll perform.
It takes a while to get out. You have to lose yourself while still knowing where you're headed. It's one of those very zen qualities about the Dark Forest, and all in all, it takes about three hours for Jason to eventually find himself out of his current predicament. Who knows what is happening inside though?
And there's Maia still playing with her kokurri board from her backpack as she wrinkles her nose as she looks down towards the two perverted spirits. She's been chatting with them, trying to find out more and more about Kamui himself. There isn't much except a few stories about him as a kid. So, in the mean time, she looks towards the dancer and wrinkles nher nose.
"Preston, got any ideas how we can trap giants that will burn this place up?"
That is a really long trip! Jason cum Haldor still manages it eventually though, and if the length of the trek has made the Scion of Aphrodite grumbly and prone to breaking things that probably just makes his illusionary visage all the more convincing. Out of the forest he now hunts for high ground, seeking to find just where these fire giants have situated themselves.
Looking decidedly un-dancerlike at the moment after all the (possibly futile) work he's just done along precisely that vein, Preston makes his way over to Maia wiping sweat from his brow. "I have no idea," he admits. "I mean, maybe this," he waves a hand toward the nearby trees, many of which have sizeable wedges cut from the bases of their trunks, "will trip them up a little, but building traps isn't really my specialty. But unless they can incinerate an entire forest in a flash, this might help. See? I've made it so I can turn this area into an obstacle course. Maybe it'll slow them down a bit while I fight them." He has no idea how big a fire giant is, but he knows they're surrounded by some respectably large, old trees.
The trees in the dark forest are large! Really large! Ridiculously large! And they're ancient. If this was a cartoon, Maia would have a light overhead and she does, but in the form of fireflies. "Nymphs! Tree nymphs! So back in Brazil, I had to negotiate between some Scions of the Aztlanti and tree nymphs who were killing people. But, if there are tree nymphs here, I'm going to have to wake them up. Maybe we can get the nymphs to fight! And no Preston, do not try to have sex with them. They have teeth in their vaginas." They really don't, but it's just ascare tactic on her part.
"Ponchi! Konchi! Thanks for everything you've told me about Haldor. Now go and tell Haldor that." And she takes a few strips of paper, binding their spirits into it before whistling for the wriggly puppy, Drake. "Drake, bring this to daddy. Go!" and she attaches it to his collar before sending the pup on his way witha smack on the bootie.
"Preston, I need you to start defacing some trees. I know that pisses off nymphs."
You paged Jason with 'Think you can run the nymphs of the dark forest for a lil?'
Preston and Godric exchange puzzled glances. The canine whimpers and tilts his head to one side, his equivalent of the shrug the human offers, his bottom lip jutting out in an expression of bemused resignation. "You mean like those?" The enormous notches he's spent so long making, while she was talking to her spirits. The ones he's hacked out of the trees to try and prepare them to fall down when given a hard enough nudge, turning the forest floor into an obstacle course. "I really don't think the nymphs in those-" the near-to-toppling trees all around him "-are going to like me at all. Trees don't get more defaced than this."
"We are not in every tree" Says a stern voice from somewhere in the shadows of the forest, nymphs just slightly coming into view. Like the forest themselves they are.. dark.. skin a black that seems almost sooty and jagged vanir'like runes shimmering a faint silver upon their bared flesh, which.. is pretty much all their flesh nymphs not going in for clothes. They hold wildly twisting spears of wood, hair disheveled and untamed and their eyes virtual murder. "Still, we do not approve." says the apparant leader of this bunch.
Woah, that totally saves her a bunch of time trying to awaken the nymphs themselves! Maia motions for Godric and Preston to move closer as she wrinkles her nose and stares towards the head nymph. She starts to approach before bowing her head low, in respect and reverence for what would probably be a being that has lived at least five times as long as she has.
"I am Tsuchimikado Maia, daughter of Amaterasu, goddess of the sun of the Amatsukami who shines upon forests and plants across the Overworlds and this is Preston Masterson, child of Baldur, one of the gods who may be in trouble along with many of your Vanir comrades. I am sorry for what was done but we needed to awaken you en masse. There are a horde of fire giants on the way. Thor and the other Asgardians are in trouble from a group of powerful demigods that channel the power of a Titan itself. They will be on their way and I humbly request your aid in defeating them."
"Mission accomplished," Preston quips, looking upon the nymph delegation with a pained smile. He shrugs his shoulders apologetically as he moves to stand with Maia. For want of a better idea he follows her lead, bowing deeply, even bending at the waist to show supplication and contrition. After all, it was his thoughtless act that conveniently drew their attention-and potentially their ire.
"I can't offer adequate apology for my ignorance," he says, "but I will make amends if you'll permit me to, once the coming battle has been won."
"And you choose to fight them /here/ within our forests?" One of the nymphs asks, social knacks keeping the tone from being /totally/ murderous. "Here in our forests which easily burn? Here where so many innocents might perish from their touch? What possesses you to even consider such a terrible place for this battle? Surely you might meet them outside our lands?" Another shoots a glare at Preston, "You cannot offer adequate apology" she agrees.
"They are trying to burn down the world tree, Yggdrasil. We needed to get them away from their primary target. The Dark Forests are lush and full of life and I know they expand even into midgard itself. However, there is also deadwood that can be cleared by using the flames of the jotun. The ashes of the dead will give new life a chance to rise up. You represent nature. They represent the nature. It is a cruel cycle, but one that I am trying to use to keep the foundation of your overworld alive." Maia says firmly and resolutely, hoping her conviction will win the nymphs loyalty in the end. "Once the battle is over, I will help the plants grow, if that would make amends to your people.." she says, bowing once more.
Preston keeps his head bowed, and even Godric is huddled beside him hiding his muzzle between his paws looking up at the angry nymphs with big wet puppydog eyes. The human of the pair tentatively raises his gaze to meet the scornful looks directed at him, but remains humble and contrite. He genuinely feels awful, but is preoccupied from genuine soul-deadening angst by the awareness that the hordes of Muspelheim are en route to do far worse than chop down a few trees. The scary old lady said bringing them here would be /good/ for Vanaheim. The angry naked hot chicks beg to differ. He'd rather wrestle with them than Elli, but he's not going to let a little thing like guilt prevent him from doing his part for Yggdrasil and Asgard and his uncle Thor. Fortunately Maia's bearing the brunt of their attention anyway.
"And you would surely be fine with these fire giants coming along and murdering every one of you so long as some woman came along after, squatting over the graves of your friends and comrades and spilling out babies upon the site of their tragic demise" The head nymph says still looking not quite furious enough to kill and she finally gestures sharply at several of those who accompany her, "These will show you the areas these fire giants absolutely must not go and fires must not reach. Our major groves." Most of them are indeed still glaring at Maia, but one keeps glaring at Preston! He's included!
"I never had intention for them to reach your sacred groves. I was hoping to keep them, at most, in the areas where you have deadwood and where fire would be more beneficial for your people than harmful. But, Preston and I are only two people. We will need your help in order to corral them in these designated areas." Maia says firmly and resolutely, not showing any disrespect in her tone.
Up until just a few minutes ago, Preston didn't even know there /were/ nymphs in the trees, so to find out their whole plan is contingent upon their involvement surprises him. He looks to Maia quickly, before remembering to keep his head bowed and his mouth shut. The overworld officially owes him one now, he decides. Next time he meets nymphs, they'd damn well better be /happy/ to see him.
The nymphs are so not happy to see Preston! They are so not happy to see Maia! Angry angry twisted and somewhat evil nymphs of a somewhat twisted and evil forest, eyes a faint predatory red in the darkness. The lead nymph looks between the others and says, "We shall believe you. For now. We shall help as we can, but direct confrontation with creatures of fire would go poorly for us for we share the attributes of our trees. We can confuse them on the peaths, harry their movements and split them up. That much we can do."
Another lightbulb! Maia looks towards Preston and raises her brows, grinning the entire time. "Preston, is there more of this silksteel stuff? Elli said it was fireproof, and if we have some, we can give it to the nymphs so they'll be protected at least. And if we dont.."
And that's when she starts shuffling out of her simple white dress before offering it to the lead nymph. "At least take this as a token from me. It is a fire proof material that may help you against the fire giants."
<OOC> Jason says, "This trip includes a lot of nudity!"
They're going to be even less happy when Preston starts knocking down the trees he's cut. They're likely to be on fire when that happens, but something tells him this lot is geared up to be bitchy and inconsolable until they go dormant or…whatever it is trees do. He gets distracted before his musings can go that far, because Maia's naked again. It's a good, familiar kind of naked and he lets himself refamiliarize with the sight just long enough to merely skirt impropriety and not wallow in it, and then returns his attention to the nymphs. "I don't remember how much Jason was able to collect. I imagine there's probably more, although Zria isn't here to weave it for us." Pause. "Do I need to give them my clothes too?" He'd really rather not.
The lead nymph does not /insist/ on being nude when the possibility of fires burning about is in the future. She accepts that dress and wordlessly slips it on. It was short and showy on Maia, the Nymph is taller. Still, it's something. "Silksteel will help" she agrees grudgingly, "Once the spiders were a common presence amongst our trees. No longer." Nymph eyes glare further at Preston, they might still burn and he is not naked yet! This earns him more angry attention.
"He will be fighting the jotun head on. He will need his silksteel, but there may be some leftover.." Maia says matter of factly. She's fine being all naked. It feels, somehow more natural for her. Maybe it's the budding fertility goddess inside her, who knows? Still, she heads towards their things to look for more of the cloth just in case there's more as she chews on her bottom lip. "Preston, where did you get the silksteel? If you tell me, I can probably get them more."
The weight of those angry looks settles upon Preston quite uncomfortably, and he looks up to meet them directly. Maia handles the explanation that no, the guy who's actually going toe to toe with the invaders is /not/ giving up his protection, so that's good. He was almost feeling guilty enough to give up the silksteel duds. Almost. "There was a nest in the woods, where the bird that ate all the giant spiders tends her young. When we gathered it the first time, I lured the bird away with my light while Jason gathered the threads. If you can find the nest, there may be more."
"I'll do it then." Maia replies with a bright smile. She gives the nymphs a subdued smile before she starts to run all barefoot into the forest. Yes, this feels more natural to her. But fortunately, that leaves Preston alone with said nymphs for a bit.
Jason has left.
The nymphs continue to look at Preston in a "Want you naked and want to be wearing your clothes" sort of way that is not nearly as sexy as that might normally be. Twisted scary somewhat evil nature spirits that they are, reddened eyes watch as Maia makes her departure before they all turn to bore menacingly into Preston. One inquires, "So you are her.. pet?"
This is fortunate….how? Preston watches Maia depart, indulging in a fleeting grin as she scampers through the woods. When he first met her, the very idea would've crippled her with embarrassment. Then he tightens his jaw and meets the angry looks with his best stoic look. By this point their aesthetic merits have worn off on him. They're not getting his britches. "She is my friend," he says firmly. "I'm an Aesir and I'm no one's pet."
"All Aesir are someone's pet" one nymph opines, "All running around in expectation of your final days and simply waiting for your final battle. None of you are free, for you do not have a future." Gloomy nymphs, these. The others continue to glare, time passing awkwardly. Finally making conversation one inquires, "So you have slain many giants?"
"I'd like to argue that, but your perspective isn't in error. It doesn't apply to me personally, but I'm still new at this." He chuckles, regarding the angry opposite of a Preston Fan Club with a self-effacing grin. They already hate him, so fuck it, why not be candid? "Eventually I'm sure I'll get old and fatalistic like the rest of them and come 'round. Until then, I'm not waiting for anything." He presses his lips together and puts on a hapless look when asked about his giant-slaying credentials. "This'll be my first. I've not had the misfortune to disagree with any giants before now. I imagine it can't be that hard. They have hamstrings and throats, I have two very sharp axes. The odds aren't totally against me in this."
Nymph eyes narrow at the mention of axes, the tree spirits don't like axes! They continue to look generally dangerous but one finally says, "Many have passed through our forest, some fleeing from the terrors which would pursue them and some turning to face them with a spirit fit for conflict. It is the later which usually triumphs." Grudging approval from the Preston hating club? Maybe.
Preston shows a decorous, if fleeting grimace of embarrassment after his comment on axes goes over like a lead balloon. He bows his head in acknowledgment of the compliment, aware of how hard it was to give. "I wouldn't be here if the need wasn't great. If the enemies of the gods wanted only to supplant them this war would be a lot simpler and a lot easier to ignore, but that won't satisfy them. Once they take the power of my uncle and the other gods and destroy Yggdrasil, they'll use the strength from that victory to ensure that everybody suffers, and then dies. You, me, the inhabitants of all the worlds, everyone. Could we have chosen a different path? I honestly don't know. I was told that if the giants came here, it would work out for the best for all of Vanaheim. It wasn't for me to choose to sacrifice your trees for that, but I've already admitted I was ignorant. I'm truly sorry. I'll fight all the harder to stay alive so that I can try to-to make amends at least, once the battle's over." He's already said that, but Maia was spin-doctoring at the time and she's not here to derail his momentum. Odds are good that he's just talking himself into worse trouble.
"There are things you can do for the forest, should you survive the battle." One of the nymphs finally decides looking over to the others, "There are several old wardstones of the Vanir that limit the spread of our forest, that keep us from growing to be all we might. Those who placed them are no longer around, it harms none that they be removed but our blood might not touch them."
And that's when Maia comes in, bringing in a bunch of silksteel. "I didn't get everything from the nest, cause then I didn't want to have to deal with angry bird gods later. But I think this should be sufficient." she offers, bringing in several yards of the materials as she looks towards Preston with a bright smile. He's alive, so things couldn't of gone that bad.
Already Preston can connect the dots to see how /that/ is going to be an unmitigated disaster. However, a promise is a promise, and the Vanir apparently don't want the land anymore. It occurs to him he might have a hard time persuading the others to indulge him, but that's a bridge he opts to cross when he gets to it. "I'll do it," he says, breathing out a sigh as he resolves to ignore the voice in his head that tells him that's a bad idea. Maybe it'll be for the best and no one will get hurt, or maybe he'll set something horrible in motion. He gives a sharp nod, and then cuts off whatever else he was going to say as Maia returns. He greets her with a smile. "Here's hoping!" he says, pretending he hadn't just obligated himself to the nymphs, offering them a furtive look of reassurance.
The nymphs look somewhat soothed by Preston's agreement, that and fireproof clothing. They accept the silksteel threads from Maia and while they do not spin it into clothing, soon enough the nymphs are clad in gauzy diaphamous silken strands. "Thank you" They allow, they really are softening towards the pair! "We should go to prepare our groves and pass the word. When these giants enter our woods, we will respond."
<OOC> Maia says, "Oh snap. My pose!"
"Thank you." Maia says, bowing once more before she looks towards Preston, beaming the entire time. "I'm glad you're okay." she chirps merrily, still all naked though this time she doesn't blush. She has changed in a lot of ways and yet she probably doesn't even realize it. She takes a deep breath and hrmms for a few moments as she looks towards the Baldurling.
"Give me your axes."
"Bring them here, and I'll take care of the rest," Preston boldly announces to the nymphs. He looks confident for an untried giant-slayer, and his Lundie companion backs him up with an affirmative bark. He grins to Maia, offering up a shrug. "Just lucky I guess." Obediently he conjures the weapons into his hands and offers them to Maia. "You'll want to stay clear of the action since you don't have your fireproofing anymore," he advises. "Still, it was a nice gesture. Thanks for talking them out of taking mine."
"It's no problem. I kinda like not wearing anything. Feels more natural.." she says with a shrug of her shoulders as she lets out a happy little giggle. "And remember, Preston, we're fighting fire giants. I'll put out any fires that I have to, but don't worry about me. Just focus on the task at hand." she continues while motioning for him toplace the axes down on the ground. She's going to give him an edge..haha
Preston grins broadly as, unable to help himself, he reaches out to give the demigoddess's hair an affectionate ruffling. "I'm not worried about you in a fight. I know better than that." It's the stuff that doesn't involve chewing ass and kicking bubblegum that makes him worry for her. "You can count on me to stay focused. It's just like dancing, only I get to kill my partners. You have /no/ idea how many times I wish I had that luxury at school. There was one time in Florida-" Right. Focusing. He clears his throat self-consciously and then looks around as he centers himself. The axes are settled on the ground and he hunkers down across from her to watch whatever it is she's about to do.
Maia still doesn't have as much juice as when she started. Summoning spirits, having them do things for you, and trying to maintain spirit bindings are hard for the onmyouji-in-training. She pulls out the kokurri board and places the axes on top before she starts to mutter a few things under her breath. Her eyes close while she puts her hands together softly in prayer. Soon, the wind rustles nup with the sounds of disembodied voices once more. What is this girl doing?
Whatever it is, Preston has better sense than to interrupt. He settles in across from her and awaits prompting, assured that if she needs anything from him she'll say so. While he waits, he takes another quick gander around the prospective battlefield, re-familiarizing himself with where he's made the cuts and how to best push the trees to hinder his opponents once they arrive. He allows for the possibility of a heinous miscalculation of the giants' size, but tries not to let his imagination go too crazy with that.
The axes glow just for a few moments before two Vikings appear before them. They're the spirits of the axes themselves! Maia beams brightly as she motions towards the Baldurling. "These are the kami of your weapons. Much like Johanssen is the kami of Haldor's shield, these are yours. You should name them, they're quite young.." and hunky, but she doesn't say that of course.
Of all the things Preston expected to see, for some reason he didn't anticipate this. In hindsight it seems obvious. Maia works with spirits, and she's just awakened the spirits of his weapons. All the same, he's left beaming broadly in wordless amazement for a moment before greeting the spirits with an admiring nod. "It's an honor to serve with you both," he says, as proud of the cause they'll fight for as of the kami themselves. He nods emphatically, looking years younger as he assures Maia, "I will." To the kami themselves he says, " It's not something I'll do lightly, but I won't let you go unnamed. You'll have the strongest names I can think of."
"Well name them, because names have power. I've awakened the kami of your weapons to give them power. Haldor's weapon already had power. But I put in the spirit of Yip Man to help him against the Jiangsi of Bruce Lee. This time, I'm awakening your weapons to helpyou against the giants. I have no idea what to expect. The power of giants varies greately, so we need to be prepared for anything." Maia emphasizes as she awaits for some names.
Preston initially balks at the immediacy of Maia's instruction, but a look to each of the newly fledged spirits steels his resolve to spare them from namelessness. He studies the figures with a companionable scrutiny and then smiles as inspiration strikes him. "Osketel," he names the right-hand blade. "Gamelin," he names the left. Not that they're ever relegated to just one hand. When he gets really worked up he practically juggles the weapons as he fights. But he'll never have trouble telling them apart now, even when the spirits subside within the weapons again.
Seemingly happy with their names, the Viking spirits fistpump and let out a mighty bellow in response before disappearing back into the weapons. Maia smiles brightly and looks towards the Baldurling, "There we go, they have names. Your weapons will be powerful and they will be tied to your growing legend."
All told, Preston makes a rather poor Viking. Bellowing's just not his thing, he's fastidiously clean-shaven, dislikes raising his voice, and is entirely too mellow. He couldn't wear a horned helmet with a straight face. He feels almost humbled by the proud warrior spirits residing within his trusty axes. He tentatively raises a fist, but settles on a salute instead. "Thank you, Maia. It's nice to finally meet them. We've already been through a lot together." He takes up the weapons, and then opens his hands to let them fade out of existence, once more bits of silver filigree upon the pendant around his neck. They'll be ready to answer his call again when the time comes.
Just as he picks up the weapons, the war horns of the Jotun can be heard. While Preston is not a good Viking, doesn't mean the Jotun and the rest of the Aesir aren't. They are all about rawr! smash! and destroy! afterall. It's part of their shared divine blood. And so it begins, a group of Jotun heading towards the Dark Forest, their war dogs along with them as well barking and growling angrily. Already, the sounds of battle fill the forest as the war cries of the nymphs can be heard. They too are a fierce people, Vanir in origin, sharing similar blood to their opponents.
"It's begun.." Maia says as she looks towards Preston and kisses him on the cheek for luck. "Take care. I'll be backing you up!" and she runs into the fray.
The newly dubbed battleaxes, long-hafted and slim in design and profile as befits the grace and swiftness of their wielder, silently resolve into being within Preston's waiting hands as he grins after Maia. Watching that naked butt rush into action brings back fond memories, but he's quick to smooth the grin on his face and spring into motion, clearing a considerable distance with each long, leaping stride. Godric keeps pace, bounding gracefully alongside his comrade, but Preston notes that Lundies are not fireproof and gives him different instructions. "Guard Maia," he says, and the canine obligingly splits off to catch up with her.
That leaves the Baldurling to square off against the Jotun alone, the nearst of the encroaching horde marked as his target from across the field when Preston pauses, standing boldly in the clearing, to gesture toward the fire giant with an outstretched arm, the point of an axe-head singling him from the throng. He raises his chin defiantly and springs from the spot, blades awhirl to either side of him to carve dizzying arcs in the air, catching whatever light happens to strike them and flashing it back as a blur. That first leap has him looming over his opponent, suspended overhead in a moment of hang-time that has him nearly doubled backward, his blades extended past his head as he starts to plummet groundward. He crosses his blades over his head and drops, spreading his arms to deliver vicious slashes in opposing directions, the cuts meeting in the middle to draw an 'x' in the afterimages of reflected fire from the giant's body . Preston lands lightly at the giant's feet, dancing backward a step with his axes flowing like streaks of mercury in his hands, ready to strike again.
Preston continues to step lightly backward, springing weightlessly clear as his opponent falls to his knees, shaking the forest. As the giant dumbly raises stubby fingers in a vain attempt to stem the flow of blood from its riven throat, all the trees that had been nearly felled by Preston's bid to alter the battlefield succumb to gravity and topple in random directions, coaxing a groaning cacophony from the dark, quiet forest. As the first trunk crashes thunderously to the ground, in synchronicity with the fallen giant's forehead, Preston again takes to the air, bounding off the bottom edge of his dead foe's helmet as it slips from the giant's head, the weight of the contact toppling it the rest of the way over. Preston's leap carries him to the next one, and he seems to glide with his weapons held parallel at his left with the intent of sweeping past the Jotun's throat and opening its jugular with a passing strike.
SCHLURP! The sickening sounds of razor sharp metal going through flesh and bone fills the forest. Birds and other creatures start to fly bringing up almost galeforce winds to splatter the blood and gore in every which direction. While the first giant, one not that much larger than a man standing at seven feet was splattered near instantly, the second is bulkier and stronger.
Standing at around fifteen feet tall, this giant is large, muscular, hairy and grotesque. He cries out in pain as blood splurts out from his neck and large stubby fingers (this jotun can never play the piano, alas) cover his wound as he presses on it. Still, he presses on, bringing up a large meat cleaver style axe high in the air before slamming it down hoping to slice the Baldurling in two.
This is the largest being Preston has ever fought before, and it's eerie to think of the Jotun as a person who just happens to be enormous. It'd be intimidating if he allowed himself time to consider that, but as he touches down, trailing blood from the tapering points of each axe blade, he is quick to pivot on his feet and dive to one side as the giant spins to attack him. As it is, he feels the ground shake as the enormous cleaver sinks its uppermost edge into the mossy ground where he landed just a second ago. Hoping to capitalize upon the moment when his opponent's weapon is extended, he leaps for the giant's throat again, blades drawn back to try and thrust them into the wound and widen it to a lethal gash across the jugular.
As Preston's leap carries him axeheads-first toward the giant, he bemusedly draws comparisons to a mosquito seeking the choicest vessels to dine from, a parallel that isn't miitgated in the slightest when the blades sink deep into the gash he left during his first pass. His weight carries them both over, and in the process of tearing his weapons free he casts the Jotun's head out into the shadows of the wood to bounce several times before rolling to a stop. The body topples, and Preston rolls along the ground to come up kneeling, feet braced to spring again as he casts about for his next opponent.
That's what would be yelled out right now if this were perhaps different circumstances,but it all comes down to this. The trees themselves start to quiver and shake as the fires of this Jotun are intense and hellish. This one stands at at least fifty feet tall, not even noticing the young Baldurling, but he isn't exactly watching where he's going. He might squish the Baldurling under his feet as smaller trees burn, wither away and die from his very presence. And oh shit! there'sa foot going Preston's way now!
At first, Preston doesn't see his next opponent, the sheer vastness of the difference in scale between them leaving him at a loss to even imagine something so enormous, much less realize it's bearing heedlessly down upon him until the shadow falls over him, blotting out the firelight and giving him enough time to register impending doom before the weight of fifty feet of burning Jotun presses him deep into the forest floor. In the wake of being stomped he lies within a mold of his body in the ground within the giant's footprint, and he stares blindly up at the darkness above, uncomprehending and breathless. The sense of wellness that has suffused him since Maia's earlier blessing feels diminished now, and he decides he's just had his first real brush with death.
Coherent thought graciously deigns to visit him again as the rumble from the giant's footfalls judders him from his reverie. He springs up, shaking the forest soil from his body in the same motion that brings him to his feet. He looks up at the back of his adversary, and up, and up, and up.
Going for the throat has worked okay on these guys. Getting there, in this case, seems a bit problematic. He can clear the height in a single bound, but once he's there his strike has to count or he may never get the chance to attempt another. He steels himself for the feat and starts to run, veering off from the giant to run up the length of a toppled, burning tree, vaulting over the flames nesting in the lower boughs and dodging between the branches to crest the very top of the tree, parallel with his enemy's face. From here he springs, twisting in midair, blades flashing as he marshalls all of his strength in a bid to land a single, telling blow.
The mosquito analogy of earlier works really well. This is a case where he really is like one. You know how you want to smack your neck when a mosquito is there. That's exactly what is going to happen. A large hand, bigger than Preston and Haldor put together starts heading towards the meaty thick neck to swat the Baldurling away. If it connects. Oye, someone's going to hurt…
SQUISH! Fortunately for Preston, the Jotun he's dealing with has a lot of.. well let's just say that even amongst his kind he's on the jolly and pleasantly plump side. As he waddles to and fro, crushing trees beneath him, his sweat puts out the natural fire on his thick neck, and that's where PReston is smacked into, making a Preston-like imprint on the jotun's skin.
Nestled between rolls of neck fat on a body that has probably never felt bathwater, Preston's nostrils are full of the smoky aroma of sweaty, badly burnt bacon grease, his own personal Muspelheim. Shuddering with revulsion and the sick awareness of phantom pain as that meaty paw further demolishes the illusory health that has protected the dancer from death or crippling impairment twice now, he recovers his bearings and staggers out onto the giant's shoulder. This, at least, he can do. The air is still rancid with the behemoth's scent, but he won't suffocate. He considers why he's come this far, and remembers his promise to the angry nymphs. To his credit he does not think, not even once 'fuck the nymphs, I have class tomorrow'. Rather, he musters his composure and his strength and rears back to hack at the existing gash in the giant's neck, eager to undam the torrent of its wretched blood and bring the unholy thing low.
Preston goes to his grisly task with a visceral lack of elegance, something approaching rage. This is no dance, this is butchery, and by necessity it is quick and brutal. He grimaces, hissing through his teeth with the exertion of each swing as the sick feeling in his gut builds. At first he is unaware of the precise fruit of his labor as he is blinded by the first splash of thick blood across his face. He leaps away in disgust, liberally drenched with his enemy's blood, alighting upon the nearest treetop and clinging to the branches until his eyes have cleared. He nearly slips when the fifty-foot tall mass collides gigantically with the ground, shaking the entire forest and causing the burning trees to collapse, those that aren't smothered by its hugeness. Suddenly weary, and not from the exertion, Preston casts about for more telltales of the giants, flaming beards or toppling trees, resolved to rejoin the battle.
When he determines that this seems to be a lull in the action, Preston hops down from his perch to search the ground for Maia, homing in on Godric. He looks ghastly, slick with freshly spilled blood, his face a mask of weariness and disgust. "I don't think I like giants very much," he muses.
While Preston has been fighting, Maia has been taking care of the various groves along with Godric. Like him, she's drenched in her enemies' blood, and there's at least seven fire giant corpses around her. In the moonlight she looks more like a savage, primal creature as she raises her arms into the air, the blood rising up from the ground to smother out the rest of the fires. She's focused and concentrating, lost in the heat of the moment as she continues to swirl the blood of her enemies in her hands before putting out more fires near her. She promised she would care for the nymphs afterall, and she continues doing this until the last of the giants has fallen.
"Gah.." she harumphs, sitting back on a patch of moss as she creates some clean water from nothing, totally violating the laws of thermodynamics. Well, she's a demigoddess and she can defy physics all she likes as she starts to clean herself and Godric off. Don't want blood drying in fur. That's a bitch right?
It's only now that she notices Preston and gives hima subdued smile. "You all right?"
Preston likes being clean. He's not exactly 'prissy' but if he doesn't have to be dirty, he won't, and he is just impossible to be around if he can't have regular showers. His present state is anathema to him, and he looks comically misereable, unable even to appreciate his victory because he is so thoroughly, disgustingly blood-drenched. "I feel disgusting," he says with a weary grin.
All things considered, that means he's absolutely fine and dandy. He thinks nothing of it when he sees Maia conjure water, he simply peels off bloodied silksteel and tosses it wetly to the ground, nodding expectantly. "Me too, please." Under other circumstances the naked, bloodied godling might make for a majestic figure with the glint of gold about his throat and the sculpted shape of him glistening with gore-some kind of primal hunter or fertility icon. The pout spoils that image completely.
"Demanding, aren't you?"
Maia chuckles softly, clearly amused, though she stares at his naked form, almost longingly. It's been such along time since she's seen him like that and she eases on up, water still swirling in her hands as she heads on over. Soon, she's only a few inches from him, her own body glistening from sweat and the water dripping down her lithe naked body. Soon, water does the same on his, rivulets forming over his six pack abs and lean taut muscle.
"Here, that better?" she asks curiously, canting her head to the side.
"Hmmmm," the dancer purrs as Maia's conjured water sluices him clean, "Yes, much better." He tilts his head back and closes his eyes, savoring the feeling of relief as the rancid odor of giant blood-which really shouldn't offend his senses as much as it does-is washed clean. He cracks his eyes open to smile down at her, his visage inscrutable. "Thank you." There's something approaching innocence, or at least the reasonable facsimile thereof that is all Preston is capable of, in the way he stands before her. He loves being pampered, and she seems to remember that."You look very primal right now," he says. "Every bit the wild goddess of the woods, transmuting water to blood and vice versa." He chuckles, and then takes a knee to bow his head, imploring her to soak his hair for him while he holds his garment so as to catch some of the soaking as well.
"Like I said, it felt more natural here. Something I haven't felt in quite sometime. I feel.. alive.." It's hit a note with her,the primal energy, the wildness of the forest. ALl these things would shock her mother that's for sure,and it would probably shock therest of her family if they caught her cavorting in the woods like this. Perhaps that's what makes it even more titilating. Still, she does as asked, bringing the water up over his head,drenching him utterly and completely to clean up. "I think my mother would hide again in a cave if she saw me like this."
Another delighted murmur issues up from Preston, and he smiles up at Maia once she's drenched him clean. He stands then, holding up his Vanir-wrought clothing, satisifed to note that most of the blood has rinsed off. He drapes the garment over one arm and takes a mindful step back, folding his legs beneath him to sit on the ground. Godric hastens over to tuck his head under Preston's arm, and the pair sit together looking at Maia. "You're just going native. Apparently the Vanir do this all the time." He starts to wring out his clothes as he says, "That reminds me, I made a promise to the nymphs. I'll have to take care of something before we leave. Or at least before I go back home. "