Unexpected Events

Recorded: January 2, 2014
Characters: Balder, Frigga, Lorn (NPC)
Location: Asgard Palace - Grand Foyer
Summary: Frigga thanks and chides Balder for coming to her rescue, and their conversation is interrupted by guards escorting a murderer.


A calm night and busy day have both passed since the Queen of Asgard was brought home by her sons. The All-Mother has spent all of that time resting in her bed, but now she has insisted on getting up to walk around. She wanders the Grand Foyer with two guards and two maidens following close behind—more of an entourage than she prefers to have, but whatever will ease Odin's mind. A golden robe with matching slippers conceals her nightwear, and her hair remains braided in a wreath above her brow.

Balder entered the foyer from the staircase that lead to the healing room. Despite the recent distaste he has shown towards his brother, he still spent time outside the room. Since then, he'd put a fur cloak on and it brushed the floor just slightly behind his heels. Balder's eyes fall upon his mother in the foyer, however, and he seemed surprised. He had not expected to see her here.

Frigga glances across the foyer and almost immediately finds the silhouette of her son. The grand hallway isn't as well lit at night as it is in the day but when one's vision adjusts, it isn't hard to know who walks these halls. "Balder. Are you well, my son? Are you heading out to share in the town's evening activities?"

Balder was silent until he neared his mother. He tugged at the edges of the fur cloak as if the chill of Jotunheim had not left him. "Yes," he replied. "I was going to see if any amount of drinking will help my mood." He glanced at the group of people following her around before he asked, "Is everything okay?"

Frigga and her entourage approach the God of Light, though when she glances back at the maidens and the guards, they take the hint to give the royal family some respectable distance. "I have been in bed on your father's orders for a night and a day, and I was getting restless. This is his over-protective idea of a compromise." She smirks briefly before asking, "What afflicts your mood this evening?"

Balder glanced from her group of servants, then back to her. "It's Loki. And Thor, really. Thor is rather upset to put it mildly. Loki's openly complained to several people about his… heritage." He glances behind him for a moment, "I feel caught in the middle, so I'm just trying to stay out of it, really." His brow was furrowed. "Nothing to worry over, mother. It'll be sorted."

Frigga sighs lightly and turns to pace the Grand Foyer, signaling for Balder to walk by her side. "Loki and Thor both are very passionate men. That they express this so differently is not a surprise to you or I. I have spoken to one about this, and I am sure I will have to speak to the other." She smiles at Balder. "But I am glad I have you to help me keep the middle ground." Her brows lift as her tone gains a level of motherly chiding. "I am also relieved that you came back from Jotunheim unharmed. You know the danger of your ventures from Asgard, my son…"

Balder walked with her. He listened intently, head bowed and eyes scanning the floor in front of them. She had him all the way up to the end, at which point he gave a hesitant smile rather than words. He remained silent for a while longer before he changed the subject, "Is there anything you need, mother? Anything I can do for you?"

Frigga smirks and narrows her eyes at his sudden change of the subject. "At least acknowledge my lecture before you dismiss it, Balder. I am grateful for your efforts, but do not forget why you are enchanted as you are. It is not just your life at stake, my son. All of Asgard relies on your safekeeping."

Balder looked away for a moment, then back to her. "I am to be locked away in Asgard again until there is a crisis that requires three brothers instead of two?" He looked down at his feet, then up again. "I would rather burn every realm to ash than have you be slave to Laufey. If my death heralded the end of all realms, that would have been an acceptable alternative."

Frigga sighs through her nose and lowers her gaze briefly. "That you would risk the end of all creation on me, is not lost on your mother. Balder, I cherish your warrior's strength and bravery and I wish that I could extend my enchantment beyond our realm." She shakes her head. "Nay, I wish that your death did not mean much beyond that of any other Prince of Asgard's passing. But as it is written—" Her sentence cuts short at a rise in commotion from the Foyer's entrance, and the All-Mother's personal guard move in closer to ensure they are in range to react if something bad is coming their way.

Balder stayed near his mother. His hand fell on the hilt of a sword and pulled free a few inches of that shining steel. He waited patiently to see what had bothered the guards so.

"NO! LET ME GO! Jessilda! NOOOOO!" A parade of six guards march through the hallway on what should be a routine prisoner escort, but the two in the middle are struggling to hold the man by his arms. Lorn, a local blacksmith, has never had cause to be put in irons before this night. He does his work at the anvil by day and gets drunk at the tavern by night, coming home to provide a rough time for his patient spouse. By the splatters of blood covering his fur jerkin and hands, he may have been part of a rough time for someone else.

The All-Mother and her entourage step aside so they are clear of the marching party's pathway. "… What ails that man, I wonder? He bears as much blood as he does grief."

"Jessilda… Jessilda, my love…"

Balder pushed the sword back into the scabbard. "I'm not sure… Jessilda is his wife, maybe?" He turns to follow the guards. "I'll let you know what I find, mother." The scene was far too curious for him not to investigate further. At first glance, it would seem as though the smith killed someone.

Frigga nods and watches them depart. "Take care, my son." She and her entourage continue in a different direction. The group of guards marches on towards the dungeon despite the constant wailing of their prisoner, though one falls back to salute and speak to Balder. "Prince Balder. Forgive us for interrupting your conversation with the Queen. We are merely escorting a murderer to await his day in court." For a murderer, Lorn seems far too sorrowful. He's collapsed into sobbing and being dragged by the shoulders, but at least it's better than having to fight him all the way to his cell.

Balder followed them. "It's fine." He followed a while longer before he spoke up again, "I suppose he killed Jessilda?" Balder continued to look upon the man with narrowed eyes. There was still a possibility that this man was innocent, but the evidence was stacked against him. "Are there witnesses?"

"There are neighbors who will speak to the commotion they overheard. Lorn is a loud drunkard who showed only a fraction of the care for his woman that she did him." Clearly the guard has bias, but at least part of what he says is notable. "When called to his abode, we found him with Jessilda in his arms. The murder weapon firmly gripped in his hands. He has slain his wife in a drunken fit, and he will be brought to justice."

"I WOULD NOT DO SUCH THINGS TO JESSILDA." The sudden outburst from Lorn is accompanied by swift action as the lanky blacksmith pulls the sword from the nearest guard's hilt. Liquid courage gives him the strength to knock his captors aside and he backs away from all of them, his wrists bound but his hands firmly clasped around the hilt of the weapon. "I would NEVER…" The guards draw their weapons and circle him cautiously.

"Do not be a fool, Lorn. Face justice like a man…"

Balder simply stood. He made no move at all when Lorn drew the sword. Instead, he watched the man's eyes. Once the guard had him surrounded, he stepped close to the rear of a guard. "Lorn, put the sword down. I'll see you have a stay of judgement while I investigate this. I'm not saying you're innocent, but there seems to be something missing."

The distraught man keeps his sword held forward at any guard that looks ready to move in. "Jessilda… I would never harm her…" His face contorts with the pangs of remorse. "And yet… through my eyes… my hands…"

"You were drunk and went too far this time, Lorn!" The lead guard sneers at the prisoner. "Put down your weapon and surrender! Justice will be met!"

"Justice?" Lorn nods his head and glances at his blade. "Yes. But by my own hand!" Before the guards can stop him, the man turns the blade and pushes it through his own torso. His fall forward does the rest of the job of forcing it through his back. The guards cry for the healers but their assistance will not come in time. Their prisoner quickly bleeds out on the palace floor, muttering for forgiveness as the life fades from his eyes.

Balder lunged forward, arm outstretched, "No!" But it was too late. The man was already face down and bleeding. He simply stepped back and then turned away from the scene. "Make sure his remains are respected," he calls back to the guards. But Balder's mind was actually focused on what Lorn had said just before the end. Through his eyes and hands…

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