The Jotun Assassin

Recorded: December 21, 2013
Characters: Frigga, Leggith (NPC), Loki, Kari (NPC)
Location: Asgard - Palace Garden
Summary: Frigga welcomes her son home, then is attacked by a Jotun assassin.

Even in the light of a clear Asgardian sky, the palace garden has its artful beauty. This is just one of many reasons why the All-Mother has summoned her son to the garden during one of her walks. She's holding a lantern that only serves to illuminate the gems embedded into her teal-colored evening gown—The All-Mother truly looks like a peaceful spirit wandering the tall rows of bushes towards the middle of the garden. She is alone except for the few guards that keep their post at the far garden entrance.

Loki steps into the gardens wearing a long billowy green tunic with a deep scooped neck that nearly reaches his knees and a pair of black silk pants. When he finds her, he just stands there and watches her for a few moments in silence, uncertain how to approach her.

Frigga smiles softly when she senses that she is no longer alone. "Did you rest well, my son?" She turns to face Loki, her hair draping as loosely as the sleeves of her gown.

"Yes, mother." Loki replies in a soft voice, rather than the angry tone he's used lately. "You sent for me?" He takes a few steps closer, his long hair blowing back in the light breeze. "The garden looks lovely."

Frigga keeps her smile and opens her arms to him. "I merely wanted to lay hands on my child before I turned in for the day." He needn't know that this moment is a purposeful distraction while Thor takes care of the Jotun assassin on Midgard.

Loki blinks, but steps forward eagerly, taking note at how she doesn't seem quite as small as she once did before his rebirth. He wraps his strong arms around her, resting his head on her shoulder. He has longed to be held but refused to show it in front of Thor or the others.

Frigga gently folds her arms around her tall child and brushes her hands down his back repeatedly. "It is so good to see you alive and healthy after your trial. I worried after you every day that you were on Midgard, but I knew that you would persevere." She grips his shoulders and holds him out so she can holding the light of the lantern up to get a good look at his face. Her own continues to wear the warmth of a mother welcoming home a prodigal son.

Loki lets out a long sigh, straightening his shoulders when she holds him out to look at him. "I apologize for the way I reacted. I know you were only trying to help me but I know it was also much more harsh than necessary. There have been things happening on Midgard that I cannot tell Thor about or risk him being endangered or drawn into something from which he cannot escape."

Frigga's brow wrinkles with a hint of curiosity but it leaves her just as quickly. "I am glad to know that you still care enough for your brother to want to protect him, and one day we will discuss these matters more intently." She turns to walk the path, gesturing for him to walk alongside her. The rows of flower bushes stretch on for several yards and she has appeased herself by pacing them. "You still have not told me what in your heart has changed in your regard of the mortals."

Loki falls into step beside her, folding his hands behind his back. "Nothing changed, really…" he says, looking at the ground. "I tried to protect the mortals several times. There are mortals that are very very bad as well as those that are good. I wanted to do something good so you and father would think better of me, but it all went so very wrong. It was better for me to think that their lives do not matter, and perhaps then nobody would be able to stop me."

"I have told you before and I will tell you until the day that I die, my son. I will always think the world of you. I will always see the good in you, even when you do not see it in yourself." Frigga positions herself to walk beside Loki as they turn and head down another row. "You do too much to try and please others, Loki. It is time that you started thinking more of yourself. Perhaps even towards living a comfortable life, as a prince should. When was the last time you looked at the maidens for one that might be suitable company? Even your brother is betrothed to Sif, though one wonders when the next generation will emerge from that union." She makes her comment so casually one might think she were talking about a television show.

Loki looks up and over at Frigga, mouth dropping open slightly. "The…maidens?" he asks, then coughs. "Well, I have been thinking of courting Sigyn, but I doubt she would have eyes for me. Thor does not live a comfortable life. Neither does father. Am I seen as a lesser prince than Thor that I would be kept about the palace like a songbird?"

"That is not at all what I meant. I want you to be happy, and I believe you would find happiness in courtship. Your father and I would not be together today if he did not bring me happiness, and I wish for you to find someone who would do the same." Frigga stops between two rows of bushes and glances down the path. At a distance, two maidens are heading into the garden from the steps. They are walking rather close together but considering the darkness outside, it is not unlikely that one may be guiding the other's steps. "My youngest maiden, Kari, has brought much happiness to her husband, Sten. They have had a child together. Do you not wish to have your own some day?"

"I have not given it much thought after I read the mythology of Earth. I am afraid if I have children they will be monsters. I doubt you want an earth crushing serpent for a grandson. " he looks up as the maidens are spotted and narrows his eyes slightly to try and get a better look. "Kari. Is that the one that is my age?"

Frigga chuckles at Loki. "Mortals are amazing storytellers. Their minds come up with fantastic reasons for the simplest things." She turns to watch the maidens approach, waving her free hand in a welcoming gesture. "A little younger, but yes. Kari is—" Her whole being pauses as she monitors the approach and suddenly there is an air of tension around the All-Mother. Kari, the maiden who walks at the forefront of the pair, is moving steadily and barely able to keep an even composure on her face. Behind her, the second maiden walks with what looks to be a golden bowl of water that she keeps pressed close to Kari's back. Her look is far more steady, though she purposefully conceals herself behind the first maiden.

The reason for the sudden tension becomes clear once both maidens are within a good range of the queen and prince. An illusion melts away to reveal a lanky female Jotun crouched to hide her normal stature behind the Asgardian. Her maiden's robe melts away to reveal the ragged tribal loincloth and tunic that barely conceal what passes for female cleavage on her pasty-colored body. The bowl shows itself to be a stone-carved blade pressed firmly against Kari's backside. "Call to your guards and this maiden's child becomes motherless," the Jotun hisses quickly through crooked teeth. Anger washes over Frigga's face but she stays quiet and holds up one hand to signal calm in Loki and Kari.

Loki freezes in place, a throwing dagger slowly lowering into his palm, hidden. He looks to Frigga and steps in front of her. "No guards will be summoned if you let the maiden go without harm. I see you found the alternate passage from Jotunheim. Clearly you are much more intelligent than your brethren and would prefer to converse properly rather than fight."

The Jotun keeps her foul grin as Loki speaks. "How nice. The mutt prince speaks as if his words hold weight."

"Wretched creature," Frigga hisses as her free hand becomes a fist. "Release her or you will beg for death before I am through with you."

"Wretched? See how the Asgardian speaks of me. How she might speak of you in another time, mutt prince." The Jotun lowers her head to peer around Kari's and cackles maliciously. The clawed fingers of a metal gauntlet tap gently on the maiden's shoulders. "Does she keep you as a pet to appease herself? Leggith has often wondered…" Poor Kari does her best to stay silent but the fear of her circumstance elicits a few quiet whimpers from her lips.

Loki looks to Frigga and grins the sort of grin that is never good when it crosses Loki's lips. He holds his hands up, having concealed his dagger again, taking a step forward. "Mutt prince I may be, but I am a prince of both Asgard and Jotunheim, so you should watch your tongue. Whether or not the Asgardians keep me for their own amusement is none of my concern. In their foolish plans to make me a pawn, they placed me in line for the throne. I would listen to Queen Frigga. She will most certainly make you regret your actions."

While Loki looks as though he's standing there talking, he dashes out from the bushes to the side and grabs Kari to pull her by the arm to safety (by throwing her into the shrubbery. Oops) He then does one of his short teleports and moves to try and kick the back of the Jotun's knee to give Frigga time to either call the guards or use her magic against the invader. Either way he keeps himself closer to the blue beast in an attempt to keep Frigga from being injured.

If the All-Mother has concerns over the verbal exchange between Loki and the lanky mercenary, she certainly doesn't show it. Her regal countenance only breaks when she rushes to pull Kari from the bushes and holds the maiden close to herself. The Jotun cackles at this turn of events and though she drops to one knee, just as quickly her other leg sweeps out to knock Loki's out from under him. She displays a surprising amount of agility and skill despite looking as brutish as the rest of her ilk, and while her gauntlet-bearing hand reaches out to grab Loki by the throat, her other hand lifts to cut the air with her knife, sending a streak of light in all directions that conceals the skirmish from the distant guards' view. As far as they can see, the royal family and two maidens are having a peaceful conversation in the palace garden.

Loki tries to dodge but falls flat on his duff, leaving him open to be grabbed by the throat and lifted. His hands go to the large hand trying to pry it away as his feet kick. "Mother-" he creaks "Run!" The trickster tries to put up as much of a fuss as possible, squirming and kicking.

Frigga would not be married to Odin if she were the type to run. She guides Kari to stand behind her and holds her lantern high, willing its light to break the illusion caused by Leggith. The sound of glass shattering is all the guards need to finally turn their attention to the fray and quickly begin their approach. Even through this exchange, the Jotun doesn't seem the least bit defeated. "You think that Leggith would be here at all if she were easily put through her paces?" With her iron hand, she continues to squeeze the air out of Loki's throat while her dagger aims at the oncoming guards. Four-legged beasts of jagged ice leap from patterns on the blade and charge. If they're illusions, the guards aren't taking any chances as they stop and brace themselves for impact.

Loki is on the verge of blacking out, but that doesn't stop him from running his mouth. "Leggith speaks about herself in the third person. I gave you better credit than that. Me Loki speak like Jotun. Me is so smart that me knows a magic trick." his voice is raspy and choked back but he's adamant on protecting his mother. "If you harm Frigga, you will have the wrath of Odin upon you. I never thought you Jotuns were petty murderers."

Leggith chuckles deeply and looks back at the All-Mother. "You Asgardians think yourself /soooo/ well-guarded on your lofty perch." She drops Loki and folds her arms across her chest. "Leggith hardly needs to harm a hair on any of your heads, when your own kind is so willing to betray you."

"Enough of your boasts, cur," Frigga barks as she rears one arm back. A ball of light begins to charge itself in her palm but is suddenly interrupted when Kari reaches up to clasp a bracelet around the All-Mother's wrist. Stunned, Frigga turns to see the look of absolute guilt washing over the young maiden's face.

"Forgive me, my queen… They have threatened Jary…"

The look of betrayal on the All-Mother's face supersedes her shock at the feeling of numbness that begins to radiate from the foreign clasp.

Loki crashes to the ground, hands at his throat as he coughs harshly and gasps for air. His eyes widen when Kari suddenly places a bracelet around Frigga's wrist and he is on his feet in an instant. "No!" he squeaks, "Mother! What have you done?" Suddenly that dagger is back in his hand and he lunges at the Jotun with a 'fierce' battlecry (Unfortunately Loki's battlecries aren't all that intimidating). "What have you done to her?" he demands again.

The Jotun's laugh taunts the trickster god as she dodges his lunge. "Leggith has done what Borgeth requires! Let the game begin, mutt prince!" She swipes the air again with her knife, cutting an illusion of a portal in mid-air. In truth, the Jotun witch is fleeing the garden through the shadows, rushing to report her success. The ice beasts that confronted the guards quickly disappear when their mistress is no longer in range to project them.

There isn't much that can be done by the time the guards join the gathering. Kari is on her knees, sobbing in despair over what she's done. The All-Mother is clinging to to her trapped wrist with her free hand, watching as blue veins reveal themselves along the length of her skin. She holds still to try and get a sense of what the spell is doing to her but her breath is becoming shallow. Frigga drops to one knee but refuses to let her strong facade of concentration show even a moderate expression of alarm.

Loki does look alarmed and runs to her side, ignoring Kari for now. He drops down to his knees and puts one hand on her shoulder. "Mother, come with me, we must get you to the healing room." he puts a hand on the bracelet, trying to sense what kind of magic is being used. "GUARDS!" He yells, then keeps trying to remove the bracelet. "Kari, what is this? What have you done to mother?? TELL ME NOW!"

The maiden cannot seem to stop crying long enough to explain. Frigga's eyes light with the revelation of her predicament, but by then the veins have crept all the way up the sides of her face. She can barely gather the air to make words. "My son," the All-Mother rasps and gasps in a deep breath of air, battling against the stillness of her own chest.

"I am lost." The words of the queen end abruptly as her whole body freezes in place. A light emanates from the bracelet and fills her veins, forcing the guards to shield their eyes from its radiance. The All-Mother shatters in a brilliant flash that collapses in on itself before rushing to the skies. The shock that resonates through the gathering is beyond comparison.

"Lost? Mother, what do you me-" the blinding light causes him to flinch, but he watches in horror as she freezes and then shatters. He doesn't realize at first that he is screaming rather loudly, pawing at the air where she once was, tears streaming from his eyes. "NO! NO! NO NO NONONONO!" and then to the guards he shouts. "Get to Heimdall immediately! FIND HER!" and then Kari is given a glare. "Take her to the dungeon. I will find out why she has committed this act of treason!"

It takes more than a moment for the guards to rouse themselves to action. All that's left of Frigga is the lantern that she held, and each guard walks gingerly around it so as not to disturb the scene of the crime. Kari doesn't resist her arrest, though they practically have to drag her out of the garden for all the crying she is doing. A light as gone out in the realm of Asgard and those who witnessed it don't know quite how to react yet.

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