The End of Jotun Schemes

Recorded: December 29, 2013
Characters: Balder, Borgeth (NPC), Frigga, Heimdall (NPC), Leggith (NPC), Loki, Thor
Location: Jotunheim
Summary: The sons of Odin come to Frigga's rescue.

The vastness of space is nothing that the Sentry of Asgard hasn't seen before. While it may appear that he is staring endlessly into its void, he is in fact keeping his focus on a particular point on Jotunheim. Heimdall shakes his head and chuckles to himself as he observes the activities of the lost queen of Asgard from his vigil at the Bifrost.

Loki returned from Jotunheim a bit flustered. He went back to his chambers to bathe and change back into proper clothing and returned to the Observatory. "Gatekeeper, the Jotuns will be taking the queen to Laufey within the next day. We must stop them before they are able to do this."

Balder entered Heimdall's chamber in time to hear the laugh. He strides along the wall, keeping a distance from anyone present. "What amuses you, Heimdall? You're usually stoic." He rested both hands on either sword.

"Have you told your brothers, or do you insist on sneaking out again?" Heimdall spares a glance over his shoulder to acknowledge Balder and Loki's approach with a nod, then resumes his cosmic stare. "As I live and breathe, this Fanndis is truly the reincarnation of the All-Mother. Even as a Jotun, she continues to teach the young mothers how to care for their offspring and commands respect of the tribal males."

"She is." Loki says sourly. "It is her soul but not her body. It isn't sneaking if you go around telling everybody, you know. If I wanted them to know, I would have told them. They would simply discount anything I had to say and everything I did as not being good enough because I didn't go about swinging my fists."

Balder gave a nod. "At least something good will come out of her being there." He edged along the wall of Heimdall's chamber. "And… Wanted us to know what, Loki?" Balder finally came away from the wall and towards the sentry.

Heimdall's head inches slightly to the right as he focuses on another point on Jotunheim. "What did you glean from the wizard, Lissarn? I have kept my eyes and ears on the All-Mother."

Loki takes a deep breath. "Lissarn provided information about the bangle. He created them. We need to get him to show us how to negate the effect. If he will not, I may be able to study enough to create a bracelet with an opposite effect that would restore her to normal, but I fear it would take too long. They plan on taking her to Laufey so they can create more…royal…offspring." he looks absolutely disgusted. "I considered revealing myself to him so that he knows he has a living heir, but there is the danger that he would hurt mother when she is brought to him."

Balder gave a nod, "Good, yes. We should leave as soon as Thor is available. Our main objective is taking the bracelet from the witch. It shouldn't be too hard with all three of us." He turns to sit on the steps at the base of Heimdall's perch. "He won't be long, I'm sure."

"Forget Thor. If he is too busy to be here, then we will go alone. He is always late. Let's go and take care of it ourselves. If he shows up, we can only hope that he does not do what he did on Jotunheim when he nearly killed us."

"A mere trifle, I'm sure," Heimdall comments. "She walks with a small party of Laufey's superior warriors, but that is hardly an issue." He turns and looks at Loki. "You go on a fool's errand if you go unprepared. Do not forget that the All-Mother herself will readily destroy you if given the opportunity."

Balder turned his head to look over his shoulder at Loki, helmet low and casting a shallow shadow over his eyes. "Forget Thor? I'm not comfortable with those words, brother." He looked back to his boots, "But I wouldn't be opposed to entering Jotunheim and scouting the giants to find the witch. She's our prime target since her bracelet is the one that breaks the spell."

"I know how her magic works. I can anticipate and counter it. Look on the bright side, gatekeeper, you would be rid of me should I fail." he furrows his brow. "Are you saying we are not able to be prepared without Thor?" he turns to Balder and rolls his eyes "I don't mean forget about him entirely, just don't wait for him to show up. We could go back to Jotunheim, yes." he flicks a hand and casts Jotun illusion on Balder. "You may want to put on something warmer, first, though."

Heimdall rolls his broad shoulders and strides towards the pedestal where his broadsword rests. "It is your decision. The witch and her marching party are close to the tribal lands; therefore it would be in your best interest to stall them." He twists the sword and the portal opens, waiting to drop the brothers in an icy field between two mountains.

Balder stands quickly and swats his hand through the air, "Keeps your spells to yourself, Loki. I'll enter Jotunheim as Balder Odinson and nothing less." He steps around Heimdall's platform, "What do you suggest, old friend? Avalanche of some sort? Close off a path of their's to slow their advance?"

"You will still be entering Jotunheim as Balder Odinson. You will just be less likely to expose us and endanger mother further." Loki shifts his own shape and stands ready to enter the portal. "Mother can easily circumvent both of those things with magic. I suggest placing a child in their path. She will stop to help them and delay their movement."

"I suggest going now before I am forced to re-position your landing," Heimdall chimes in. "I have placed you in the path of the marching party. The village is still a short distance away, but their are closing fast on its location. Go now if you wish to deal with the witch before she is joined by the All-Mother."

Balder turns and edges backwards towards the Bifrost. "Heimdall, if you should witness our end, tell stories of how we slew hundreds." He turns to face the Bifrost just as he reached the portal, and he was gone.

Loki stares at Balder and sighs. "Let us not do that, Heimdall. I would hope you would bring us back before that happened." And then Loki steps through the portal as well.

The icy pathway is made that much more bitter by the biting winds constantly blowing through Jotunheim. The mountain path is massive to those who stand at normal Asgardian height—But to the Jotun party that moves through the area, it is merely a brief hallway. Five Jotun warriors, each standing twenty feet tall, stride towards the distant village with massive clubs slung over their shoulders. Leggith and Borgeth are much taller than Asgardians but even they are dwarfed by the height of Laufey's warrior guards. They go to retrieve this would-be tribute for their king; or destroy the village if this turns out to be a waste of their time. By the cackling of the witch and her broad-shouldered tribal leader, one can tell they have confidence in their plan's fruition.

Balder drew a single sword and laid the flat of the blade over his shoulder. He knelt to feel the ground, bare fingers in the cold snow. "They're close." He stands and balls his fist to rub the fingers against the heel of his palm for relief from the cold. "Go do what you need to with you magic and what not. I'm going to stab them." His second sword was drawn, the first still over his shoulder.

Loki rolls his eyes at Balder again and nods, holding his hands out as he begins casting some preliminary spells. "I am certain you will, brother." and then he begins walking in the direction of the approaching party.

The giants move forward with a casual stride, though one step from the largest of them covers a good distance. The whole group stops when they notice the two strangers in the distance. Their disguises are enough to give the band pause but their sizes are questionable to say the least. "(What manner of caste do these runts represent?)" One of the warrior's voices carries in an effortless echo.

"(One that should be removed from the path of Laufey's finest,)" Another replies as he stomps forward and swings his club off his arm. The giant implement is crafted out of a thick stalactite of ice that has held together through many battles. He pushes the blunt end of the weapon forward to shove Loki and Balder roughly aside.

Balder allowed them to walk as close as they dared. He didn't move. When that blunt side came to move him, Balder gave it a swat with the flat of his sword, down and away. Hips torquing in the same move, he brought the sword from his shoulder down and across the side of the giant's knee, attempting to sever the limb.

Loki flings a hand to roughly cast a bit of magic to repel the club. "We want no quarrel with you, Jotun. We wish to take Queen Frigga back to her rightful home and restore her to her proper form. You cannot truly believe that this plan of yours will actually work, do you? Of all the powerful beings in Asgard, why her?"

The attack from Balder's weapon causes a cry of outrage from the gathering of giants. Loki's words arouse a sense of recognition in Leggith, who finds herself immediately shoved behind the broad-shouldered Borgeth.

"(The Mutt Prince has returned! Seize him so that he may bear witness to his Asgardian mother's shame!)" The witch cackles madly as the four other gargantuans stomp forward to join their injured brother. Balder's sword catches in the flesh of the Jotun's leg but their bodies are resilient, and the thick legs of the twenty-foot-tall Frost Giant are much like tree stumps. The giant roars in pain but swings his club out to try and smash Balder into one of the mountain walls. One of his brothers stomps forward and swings both of his meaty fists down to try and sandwich Loki between his palms and the frozen ground.

Balder flew from his feet. He rode the club for a moment, then crashed into the wall of the mountain pass. He sat in the small crater his body made. "Right…" Balder pushed himself free, feet bracing on the edge of the hole, and used his considerable strength to launch himself at the Jotun he first attacked, sword raised high and lungs bellowing a mighty warcry.

Loki performs a quick teleport and pulls his own sword, thrusting it into the back of the hand of the giant that dared try to crush him. He then shapeshifts into a full sized Jotun himself and brings back a large blue foot to try and kick the giant in the chest.

The second giant draws back his hand quickly when it's stabbed by Loki and ends up sprawling backwards at his giant-sized kick. His fall leaves room for two more to rush forward to tackle the giant trickster to the ground with the goal of pinning him there for a pummeling. The first giant was distracted by relieving his leg of Balder's sword and looks up in time to see the Asgardian flying towards him. He raises his arm in time for the blade to catch in the leather of his thick gauntlet, leaving the Odinson dangling from his own weapon like a new accessory. The giant rises to his full height and once again swings for a wall, this time with his arm.

Balder scrambled up the sword and gauntlet. He was going to leap again, but the arm he used as a platform flew out from under him. He hung in the air for a moment, then succumbed to gravity. "UHP!" Not even flailing his arms helped to keep him aloft. He crashed into the ground and tried once again to find his footing.

Loki slides on his back in the snow as they start pummeling him, but he brings his legs up to try and kick them away, or, failing that, repel them with a powerful blast of eldritch magic. "Balder, you fool, you cannot fly! Agh! Stop hitting me!"

Seizing the opportunity of Balder's misstep, the fifth gargantuan reaches between his brother's legs to try and get a firm grip around the Asgardian. The two that have tackled Loki refuse to relent, until the magic spell sends them both flying backwards into the giant with the injured leg. The three are knocked into a pile on top of the one who was reaching for Balder and, as a matter of good fortune, both of the Asgardian's swords clatter to the ground near him. Meanwhile, the fifth giant rushes forward and swings an arm out to try and land a powerful punch to Loki's face.

Observing the struggle of Laufey's warriors, Leggith grinds her teeth anxiously. She looks for a nod from Borgeth—Once given, she takes an animal horn from her hip and lets it trumpet loudly into the atmosphere. The other giants ignore the echoing call as they gather themselves for another attack.

Balder rolled up to his feet, over his weapons. They were drawn up into his hands and he used his strength again to launch himself ontop of the pile. Balder began hacking and slashing at heads and any soft parts he could find. He was determined to kill these guards from Laufey's court. He, too, ignored that trumpet call. He entire focus was on the giants beneath his feet.

Not the face! Loki's head snaps to the side when he receives a punch, dazing him for a moment. He snaps out of it long enough to get to his feet when that horn sounded, stumbling forward as he casts a spell to conjure a load of fish to fall into the cone of the horn to stifle it. "None of that!"

Leggith throws the horn aside and sneers at Loki. "(Foolish Child-Mage! Your parlor tricks are no match for what is to come!)" Meanwhile, the pile of gargantuans endured slashes from Balder's weapons until they each roll forward to dump him to the ground. Their faces scarred, the giants do not hesitate to raise their weapons to try and pound the Asgardian into the ice like a meaty nail. The Jotun that punched Loki now reaches forward with both palms to try and get a firm grip on his neck and cut off the sorcerer's air supply.

Loki's hands try to pry the ones wrapped around his neck as he chokes, unable to speak any magic words. But he can still shapeshift and changes into the form of a fly, slipping free and flying haphazardly away from the Jotun who seems to have it in for him and toward Leggith.

Balder rolled off to one side in an attempt to dodge the initial blows of the Jotuns. Balder's sword gives a sudden, bright glow, and then he was gone. The Jotuns attempting to pound him into the ground may not have been able to track him until he was on a giant's back, attempting to drive a sword into the base of his skull.

The fly may find himself dodging haphazardly through the massive limbs of the five giants reaching out to attack Balder. There's still Borgeth behind those five giants and when he spies the fly coming his way, he quickly swings his meaty hands forward to clap the creature to death or stun it with the force of the localized shockwave.

The group of Jotuns scrambling after Balder look momentarily dumbfounded when he teleports. They only become aware of his whereabouts when one of them leans like a felled tree: The sword of the Asgardian found the perfect spot to penetrate bone and brain, sending one gargantuan to the afterlife.

Balder left his sword in the first Jotun and leapt from his limp, falling body, at another. His sword arm was outstretched and his aim was the giant's throat. The sword glows, but he remains visible, sailing through the air. Again, a powerful warcry bellows from the reinvigorated Asgardian warrior. A kill will do a lot to bolster one's morale in a fight.

Stunned, Loki loses his shapeshifted form and drops into the snow, momentarily out cold. His long dark hair spills all around him as he lay there looking rather peaceful. He can hold his own in a fight, but he isn't the same type of warrior as Balder. With Frigga in danger, he isn't confident enough to unload all his magic or risk injuring or killing her. Or making her mad and getting Balder killed.

Borgeth looks triumphant as he stands over Loki's fallen form. The brute reaches down to haul the man up by his hair, meaning to hold him captive for the future main event. Meanwhile, the four remaining gargantuans are having quite a struggle with one Asgardian. The one whose knee was severed is unable to move in time to avoid the sword piercing his throat, and he swats wildly at Balder as he starts to fall on his backside. Two of his companions raise their clubs and swing towards his collarbone with the intention of crushing his attacker. Nevermind the damage it'll do to their fallen brother.

Balder teleports away once again. He appears behind the last three, just as before. Balder is in a slow spin with the dark blood of the previous Jotun arcing off his blade and painting the falling snow around him. His aim would be to crash feet first into the back of the giant and drive his sword into the base of this one's skull as well. If it ain't broke…

Loki couldn't have planned this any better aside from the being picked up by his hair part. It's a good thing Asgardians have strong roots. Being taken along for the ride is even better than fighting the Jotuns right here in the valley. He can at least do something to make a mess of their plans from the inside!

It seems as though the second eldest of the Odinsons is carving a masterful tale for the bards back home to weave into song. The two giants swinging at their fallen brother successfully pummel him in place of the teleporting attacker. While they look around in bewilderment, the third is shoved into them and all of his weight goes with him as Balder delivers yet another killing blow. That quickly, five of Laufey's warrior guard is reduced to two heaped in a pile of their dead brothers.

Borgeth chuckles deeply to himself as he holds up Loki so that the Asgardian-adopted Jotun can look into his face. "(Look at me, lost son of Jotunheim. Look at the one who has plotted victory for our people against theirs. Rue the day you let yourself be coddled by their ilk!)"

Balder held on to his sword and rode the pile of falling giants all the way to the ground. Once there, he drew the sword and sprung up from the back of the dead Jotun to land feet first on the face of another, sword aimed for a downward thrust through the eye.

Loki dangles limply and helplessly in Borgeth's grasp, or at least that is the way it appears. Though he has a livid bruise on his cheekbone, he doesn't look very worse for the wear as he lifts his head, turning those emerald eyes up to grin wolfishly at Borgeth. "You forgot one thing, foul beast. You abandoned the god of mischief. Now, shall I show you what happens when you cross the Sons of Odin?" he continues to grin as his form shifts again, this time into the form of an enormous black dragon with glowing green eyes. Too big to be held, he rears back and belches out a torrent of eldritch hellfire. If it's one thing Jotuns can't stand, it's heat!

The last two of the gargantuan Jotuns don't intend to go down as quickly as their brothers. When Balder moves to land on one's face, it quickly swaps a hand up to swat him aside. The other pushes out from the pile and swings his club to try and strike Balder as a baseball player would.

Borgeth is clearly caught off-guard by Loki's sudden transformation, and while Leggith makes a successful dive sideways to avoid the spray, Borgeth only manages to get halfway out of the line of fire. His roar of pain is drowned out by the belching of flame and once the fire bath is over, the brute has dropped to the ground with half his body covered in third degree burns. Leggith rushes over and kneels near him, face washed in the worry one would find on a loving wife.

There is no thunderous herald or choreographed speech to send the massive brutes quaking in place. A crimson bolt drops from the heavens and thrusts a deep, bloodied crater into the permafrost where once the jotunn that tossed Balder stood. "Your impatience vexes me, brothers." Thor roars, lifting into a magnanimous hover to survey the scene before him. His eyes have been engulfed by a charged glow, concealing his pupils with the torrent of energy surging within and without. Leggith likely feels the glare fall upon her. Mjolnir is sent screaming through the air immediately after, the intended target her heavy jaw. Difficult to cast a spell with a pulverized face.

Loki's glowing green dragon eyes turn to Thor, flaring brightly as he speaks in a growly voice, "And your slowness vexes me!" as he rears back again to breathe fire but not at the giants, at the ice wall behind them to bring it down to try and trap them. He does turn back to Leggith as he returns to his normal size.

Balder flailed his arms as he flew through the air. It was not graceful. He struck the ground and slid several feet, plowing up enough snow to stop him. Balder stands and summons his swords back into cold hands. He pivots on one foot and gives a powerful leap towards Leggith and Loki, swords raised high. Again, he gives that roaring warcry, fully intending to put his boots inside Leggith's skull.

The remaining of the two giants looks stunned at the sudden puddle of blood that was once his brother. He lets out a deep warcry and swings as hard as he can down at the spot where Thor stands, meaning to smash the God of Thunder into the ground with his bare fist. Meanwhile, the witch Leggith is starting to feel a bit alone since all of Laufey's warriors seem nearly dealt with and her tribal leader is laying half-scorched on the ground. She lets out a screech of hatred when Thor's hammer and Balder's feet are heading towards her head—Only to end up grinning madly when the sheen of a thin aura appears around her and Borgeth. Loki's ice avalanche, Mjolnir and Balder each will bounce harmlessly against the shield that's come completely out of nowhere.

"Why throw away your lives so recklessly, Asgardians." The words are carried on the wind from the Snow-Mother's lips. Fanndis stands at the opposite end of the pathway, calming eyeing the scene she has come across. "If you would leave our world in peace, we would gladly afford you the same comfort."

A mild shockwave erupts from the point of impact as the massive fist is effortlessly halted by Thor's palm. "Steal a breath of air, warrior." He snarls, tightening his grip along the giant's knuckle as his other arm summons and retrieves Mjolnir. "…for you shall soon reflect upon the folly of opposing the mighty Thor." He growls, spinning so violently that the giant is torn from his footing. One more rotation and Thor releases his prey, allowing the giant to rip through the sky and disappear into the distance. He vanishes from sight in the blink of an eye. "One of you disable her. Before I must do so."

Balder landed on the shield, feet slipping out from under himself and body sprawling over the dome. "Ugh…" Balder slowly slides down and drops to a stand. Leggith earns a stern look before he turned to see Fanndis. "No Asgardian lives are being thrown away this day," he replies. Balder turns again and paces in front of Leggith's shield.

Loki spins around when he hears Fanndis speak, and walks toward her as his brothers finish off the other Jotun warriors. "I know there is part of you that remains, mother. I saw it when I watched you with the children, and I see it now. If you were truly an evil creature you would not bother to help these vile beasts. Do you remember nothing at all of your life prior to this?" he takes several steps toward her, his hands held out in a pleading manner as if trying to appeal to what's beneath the surface. "You do not remember taking in a newborn Jotun that was abandoned and left to die? We have much in common, you know. I am a prince of Jotunheim. We can work together. These beasts mean to use you and give you to Laufey to be used like cattle." he offers her a smile, trying to lull her into finding him harmless.

The giant attempts to pull his hand free, but just as quickly he is pulled into a toss and flung further than all but Heimdall can see. Leggith spares a moment to be awestruck by this feat; however, Fanndis barely spares the departed gargantuan a passing glance. Instead, she levels a scrutinizing stare on Loki as he attempts to appeal to who she once was. "Your Asgardian mother is dead, and I have profited from her soul," the giantess insists in a thunderous tone. "What my king desires of me is his pleasure, but in the interim, I will protect our people with all of the power at my disposal." She smirks and gestures in the brothers' general direction. "But perhaps it is not too late for you, Laufeyson. Perhaps you can redeem yourself in your father's eyes. Come, denounce your false Asgardian family and stand with your ilk."

"Loki! We no longer have the convenience of time to satiate your fool's gambit! Strike forth with your eldritch tricks to counter while we launch an assault!" Thor bellows, turning to regard Balder with a nod and speaking in a more hushed tone. "Teleport to her flank and strike." He hisses, waving Mjolnir several times and howling out a battlecry in an attempt to steal Fanndis' attention. He wastes little time before he torpedoes through the frigid air towards the giantess intent on slamming her into the ground.

Balder turned his head to watch Loki over his shoulder. "Loki…! Stay back, you fool!" His eyes cut to Thor and a nod is given in return. Balder turns, raises his sword at Leggith's shield, but the strike never came. Balder had teleported into Fanndis's flank, both swords swinging and throwing bolts of light around her. The Asgardian warrior pulled every trick he knew in an attempt to get Fanndis's attention.

Loki looks up at Fanndis, breaking into a grin. "Yes, I am Laufeyson…" he says in his silky smooth voice, stepping toward her as he shapeshifts. "In exchange for your protection, I will stand by your side as heir to the throne of Jotunheim. I am certain my true father will be pleased to know he has a living heir, one who knows all the weaknesses of the would be king of Asgard." He stands next to Fanndis, lifting a hand to project a shield to block Thor and Balder's attacks. Did he just switch sides? It's difficult to tell with the trickster. When Balder makes his way in and tries to attack Fanndis, Loki throws out repelling magic to throw him back. "I am Loki of Jotunheim. I will serve my father Laufey by standing up to our enemies." and his sword is drawn. He knows Thor will probably not see that he is faking this, but he will risk making Thor angry if it means he can get close enough to Fanndis to eventually reverse the spell from the bracelet.

It is with calm mirth that Fanndis watches Loki's acts of betrayal, not even turning her head to observe the ways in which he deflects his brothers' assault. While the lost son of Jotunheim is distracted by his own decision, the Snow-Mother approaches him, one hand filling with a crystallized blade that manifests out of nothingness. It is with that blade that she stabs forward to spear him through his back, pushing with enough force to lift him off the ground in the process. "Foolish whelp. True illusion requires no spell, only a weak mind to prey upon!"

"Balder! Seize this chance!" Thor's voice thunders across the plain, drowning out the shrill rush of wind that had been nagging at the frost as it mingles with the force of explosive thunder. Mjolnir rises with his arm high above his head as the rippling muscles along the Prince's back tense with preparation. A deafening howl boils forth from his lungs as he brings down a blow with incalculable fury and unbridled might.

The sheer force of power rushing into the shield causes a deafening sound that carries throughout the pathway between mountains. Leggith's shriek is drowned out by the sound and the blinding light that follows. The barrier cracks, then shatters, sending mystical shards flying in all directions before they dissipate randomly. The witch is left dazed and vulnerable by the shockwave of the force field's release.

Loki's illusion drops as his eyes widen, his breath catching in his throat as he looks absolutely horrified. He slowly reaches up to place his hands on the sword protruding from his chest, starting to shake when he sees the blood coating its crystal-like surface. He looks at Fanndis, then toward Thor, struggling to stay conscious. His head lulls back, then snaps forward again, eyes full of determination as he lifts one shaking hand to release a magic bolt to try and hit Leggith's wrist. Even though it is a weak bolt, he hopes his brothers will take the hint on here to strike. The youngest son of Odin looks up at Fanndis again and emits a faint chuckle which causes him to cringe.

Balder abandons the impaled Loki. He turns his back to Frigga and leaps several feet into the air before he disappeared. The warrior reappeared over the witch, sword raised and ready to swing down and sever the arm that was made home to the bracelet. The hilt is held with both hands. The blade glows white hot, and could be seen from miles around.

Leggith's vision returns to her in time to see her fate fast approaching. Loki's bolt strikes and burns the bracelet, but as the witch reaches across herself to clasp it, Balder materializes into her previously protected space. The fast cut of his heated blade takes off most of the Giantess's left arm and a part of her right, instantly cauterizing the wounds in the process. The witch wails and drops to her knees next to the body of her fallen chieftain.

The arm drops into the soft powder of Jotunheim's constant snowfall. At that moment, the bracelet unhinges itself and rests on the ground. The effect on Fanndis is near-immediate: Her height lessens, her skin and hair resort to their normal color, and the Queen of Asgard releases her hold on the crystal blade in favor of her own brow. She stumbles bare-footed on the icy landscape and looks around as if coming out of a daze. "…. What have I done?" Seeing Loki impaled on a weapon of her own making, she barely puts a thought into waving the sword out of existence.

Thor charges forward to gather Frigga and in fading Loki into his arms and roars into the sky. "Heimdall! Lower the Bifrost!" A concerned glance falls first to Balder then back to the flailing mass of witch kicking up a shower of snow.

Balder is consumed in light and teleports himself into Asgard without the Bifrost. He steps out of a point of light in Heimdall's chamber and strides as though he'd simply walked through the wall.

Loki drops to the ground when Frigga returns to herself and the sword disappears. He stares up at the sky, though he doesn't see it as snow falls quietly around him. Though he struggles to breathe, Loki lifts his head and manages to whisper, "Welcome back…mother…are you injured?" and then his head drops back down and his eyes close as he starts to lose consciousness. His last thoughts are along the lines of 'why could she not have stabbed Thor or Balder??' And then there's the Bifrost!

As soon as his name is heralded, Heimdall launches the Bifrost to retrieve the Asgardians from Jotunheim. There are guards already waiting in the observatory and when the opportunity presents itself, they retrieve Loki and immediately move to carry him to the palace healing chamber. Frigga allows herself but a passing moment to look weary before she brushes her arms downward and causes her outfit to change from the Jotun Snow-Mother to a formal robe and slippers. She waves Heimdall out of his respectful kneeling so he can return to his duties, then turns at looks at Balder and Thor. "Thank you, my sons, and forgive me for all that I did to prevent my own rescue." She casts a glance in the direction of the guards taking Loki to be restored.

"We are simply relieved to have you gracing our halls once again, mother." Thor admits, allowing the flash of a smirk towards the woman as he wanders towards Balder and gives him a rough nudge with his elbow. "Fear not. We shall tend to Loki. I am certain father wishes to see you and it would ease all of our minds if you sought rest after such ordeals."

Balder kept his distance from the scene, and held his tongue. His swords were pushed back into their scabbards and his hands fell to their hilts. He stands quite still and only acknowledges Thor with a nod of his head.

Frigga turns and nods to both of her sons, reaching up to run a hand gently along Thor's jaw when she turns to walk away, and another along Balder's as she passes him. She nods her approval to the Sentry of Asgard before turning to join two guards at the entrance to the observatory. They will escort her back to the safety of the palace walls.

Balder reached up to lay his hand upon his mother's when she touched him. He allowed himself to close his eyes and shut everything out for the moment that his mother brushed his chin. He was back when she was out of arm's length.

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