Fanndis the Snow-Mother

Recorded: December 28, 2013
Characters: Frigga, Loki
Location: Jotunheim
Summary: Loki sneaks into the Borgeth tribal village to keep an eye on Frigga.

You would never know there was a caste system to Jotun society. You'd never know that without being born and raised there. What appears to be several tribes living in random areas are forcefully relocated clans set apart from their kingdom based on their lack of worthiness. Borgeth's tribe has lived on the outskirts for far too long and this odd scheme of theirs is meant to be a last-ditch effort to find a place in the inner circle. With how successful the plan has been so far, the clan is doing a little premature celebration.

Deadwood huts rest at the foot of a lone mountainface and the light of a blue bonfire makes it possible to see the circle of males and females drinking fermented plant drippings and making an odd clamor similar to music. Scraggily-looking hounds claw at each other for leftover bones from the tundra beasts—High entertainment for the drunken giants. If the witch, Leggith, is around, she is nowhere to be seen at the moment. But clearly, the tribe's guard is completely down.

Loki has shapeshifted into the form of a Jotun from Borgeth's tribe, and is in total stealth mode. He moves in and grabs a straggler from behind, pulling him behind some rocks and quickly killing him and taking on his appearance. He's fairly certain that showing up as a stranger would raise their alarm rather quickly. Sitting down among his 'fellows', he picks up a drink and downs it like the others, trying not to shudder at the taste.

The trickster's attempt to infiltrate the tribe is working. No one seems to question him, especially with the Jotun equivalent of alcohol flowing. A few of the lesser drunks are standing around and having conversations… One in particular is running his mouth while the others listen and/or ridicule him. "Why do we waste our time trying to appease Laufey? He has cast us aside! With the Asgardian wench at our command, we could easily take the place of his court!"

"Don't be an idiot…" "Foolish drunkard." "Don't let Borgeth hear you speaking that way."

Loki listens without looking as though he's listening, choosing to appear to eat and drink while keeping his ears and other senses open. The trickster has some odd abilities such as being able to process several conversations at once, which allows him to absorb information from several sources. He takes a real bite out of a piece of meat and actually marvels at the taste. He's used to much more refined foods and drinks, but something about the primitive method in which it was cooked gives it a rather pleasant flavor. His mind goes off on a tangent and thinks about how Thor and the others probably eat like this quite often when they're off on adventures…without him.

One of the tribesmen wanders up to Loki and nudges him, talking in between pulling mouthfuls of meat from the thick bone of a slaughtered beast. "I am grateful that Borgeth's scheme has gone so well, but I still do not see how Laufey will accept that Asgardian as a mate." He looks over to a far section of the huts, where Fanndis sits amongst a group of females and their young. Even sitting on dead, frozen wood and amidst the filthy tribal surroundings, the queen of Asgard continues to look radiant as ever. She holds a Frost Giant infant in her hands and appears to be talking to the women, demonstrating a proper means of silencing their babes with comforting hand gestures.

"Even though Leggith shaped her to be as one of us, she still bears some of the horrid features of the Asgardians," the drunkard comments.

Loki furrows his brow as he bites into the meat, glad his mouth is full for once because he is so very tempted to slap a bitch right now. Once he swallows, he does add to the conversation in their tongue. "Farabauti will probably kill her if she hasn't already. Where is Leggith, anyway?" his red eyes are on Fanndis, trying not to stare as she holds the infant, wondering if that is how she held him when he was so tiny and blue.

The drunkard laughs and reaches out to give Loki a friendly slap on the back with the greasy shank of meat. "Who cares what a woman thinks! Especially one that birthed such a useless heir to our king." He cackles and leers in Fanndis' direction. "At the very least, Laufey will be pleased to defile the wife of Asgard's king. That I would give my right arm to witness…" He lets off a lecherous chuckle before tilting his head back to drink from a wineskin.

The Snow-Mother pays no attention to the carousing tribesmen. Her interest is primarily on the young children of the tribe who seem inexplicably drawn to her. She demonstrates a gentle wrap of fur cloth to secure the infant in her hands, then nods in approval to the women who correctly execute the maneuver. The one that fails gets a fierce look and braces herself to be punished… Only to be surprised when Fanndis walks over and demonstrates more closely. Lissarn did say that the spell changes all but the soul, and deep down, Frigga cares for others with her very soul.

Loki flinches when the Jotun smacks him on the back…with meat. Ugh. He grins in response, nodding. "I don't, I'd just like to see the two go at it, wouldn't you? I wouldn't call the runt entirely useless, a Jotun is a Jotun afterall, right? We should be getting him to act as an insider for us, destroy those stupid Asgardians from the inside out."

Once again the Drunkard guffaws, though this time he keeps his hands to himself. "A Jotun who is born and raised in the unforgiving ice, now that is a Jotun! Laufey's son is no doubt milkfed like the lazy children of Asgard. Raised to know no suffering. Barely a woman and certainly no warrior!" He laughs and stumbles a bit, starting to feel the effects of the drink and the food. "I must relieve myself. Do not look for Leggith to be here. She and Borgeth went to announce our tribute to Laufey. In a few days' travel, they should return with the royal guards to escort her to his kingdom." He starts to make his way towards a pit that the tribe uses to do their business. At the distant gathering of women, the Jotun mothers are sitting in awe of Fanndis as she sings a Frost Giant lullaby in the softest tone it has ever been sung. It is something Frigga learned a long time ago to sing to a little Jotun delivered to her one fateful day… How timely that it would be recalled at this moment.

Loki snorts at the other man. "Raised in the hot summers of Asgard? It is a wonder he did not shrink further. " he contemplates that Leggith and Borgeth are both gone, but Fanndis remains here. When she begins singing the song, Loki falls silent and stares into the fire, pushing back any emotions that might threaten to blow his cover. How he would love to shapeshift into one of those children right now and get closer to her, but he knows he can't.

The sky is dark and the hills are white
As the storm-king speeds from the north to-night;
And this is the song the storm-king sings,
As over the world his cloak he flings:
"Sleep, sleep, little one, sleep;"
He rustles his wings and gruffly sings:
"Sleep, little one, sleep."

The whole camp seems to quiet down as Fanndis sings, causing even the most surly of the drunks to think back on their time in their own mothers' arms. One might never think of the Jotuns as having a sentimental side but even the fiercest-looking beast displays maternal instincts for a time. The Snow-Mother rocks the infant in her arms and he quickly falls asleep, then is easily returned to the arms of his mother. The haggard faces of the Jotun women pull in wretched smiles at the lesson they've learned.

Loki stands up and goes to the pit where they relieve themselves, trying to put some distance between himself and Fanndis so he doesn't have to watch anymore. He pretends to take a leak (Who's going to look and say he's not??) and walks around a little. "Why did it have to be that song?" he sighs, reluctantly turning back to the camp, looking for the Jotun he was speaking to before. "So where did Leggith learn all that fancy stuff, anyway?"

The drunkard grunts and shrugs. "She is a woman. They are always finding new ways to manipulate the world without waging true war." He shakes himself clean and turns to look back at the silence. While the women are finding much to approve of in Fanndis' caretaking of the children, one burly Frost Giant stumbles over to her and leans all of his imposing height down over her seated form, showing his displeasure with a drunken sneer. "Do not let this false creature charm you! She is not here to be favored! She is here to be used as our king sees fit!" Despite the intimidating stature and overwhelming stench of the aggressor, Fanndis lifts her gaze in his direction with the scrutinizing calm of someone preparing to act—harshly.

Loki rushes forward, prepared to grab the man, but holds back. Barely. He balls his hands into fists and growls. He tries not to get too close or risk detection. There must be more information he can gather before getting the heck out of this terrible place.

Fanndis rises to her full height, which is average by female Jotun standards and certainly not tall enough to intimidate the drunken antagonizer. "The king will do with me as he sees fit. But you…" Her left hand clenches at her side and a ring of frost solidifies itself around the Jotun's neck, pulling him to his knees and cutting off his air supply. "… will show me some respect. For with a mere thought, I could end your existence or prolong it in the worst possible pain that you could imagine." Her attention is pulled away from the brute by the sound of an infant stirring. The Snow-Mother glides over to a nervous female and gently plucks the child from her arms, taking a moment to sooth it with a gentle whisper while the giant continues to go without oxygen. As she continues to pace and coddle the child, her gaze finds its way in Loki's very direction and all of her body comes to a halt. If she recognizes him, she hasn't made it known yet, but that piercing stare of hers is foreboding to say the least.

With a frown, Loki turns away and begins walking back toward the campfire. He is torn, uncertain what to do. He should grab her and take her back with him, but that could be bad for everyone. He should appeal to her spirit and see if he can get her to fight and re-emerge. The trickster in disguise manages to keep his cool for now, at least. Hopefully she can't sense him and his turmoil.

The Snow-Mother keeps her gaze locked on the prodigal Jotun for an uncomfortable period of time. It's especially uncomfortable since all the other tribesmen are watching to see if their surly brother will be left to asphyxiate. Finally, she turns away from her visual quarry and at the same time, the frosted choker dissipates. The drunken warrior catches his breath on all fours while the Snow-Mother wanders back to the group of females tending to the young. "The whelps need their rest. End your noises, and return to your homes." The clan of Borgeth feels awkward doing what their would-be captive says, but each one turns to gather their belongings and begin to turn in for the night. With her back to Loki, a sinister smirk dances halfway across her lips as she moves to join the midwives in their hut for the evening.

Loki meets her gaze but does not react in any other way but to also smile once her back is turned. With a quiet whisper of a magic spell, he disappears from sight to take himself back to the hidden portal back to Asgard.

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