Asgard's Enemy is Revealed

Recorded: February 13, 2014
Characters: Dr. Strange, Frigga
Location: Asgard - Sorcerer's Haven
Summary: Frigga and the Sorcerer Supreme dispel the dagger and use it to find the source of Asgard's troubles.

A tall spire near the middle of the cultural district makes up the Sorcerer's Haven. Many would-be practitioners of the mystic arts come here to though few go beyond the skill of an Asgardian battle mage. The ornate building houses several classrooms, libraries and lecture halls, as well as a fantastic vew off each balcony level. At the very top of the spire, a single room is lined with bookshelves and a few artifacts, but otherwise remains open for practicing magic indoors.

Frigga awaits the Sorcerer Supreme in the open space but doesn't spend her time doing nothing. Along with a few servants, she is making sure that several delicate artifacts are removed from the room, and that the shutters on the windows are secured. A small, round table is placed in the middle of the room and the golden dagger floats vertically above its central point. The handle of the weapon is pointed upward, ever-waiting for someone to take hold.

It is morning in the fair realm of Asgard, and the queen is dressed in a muted blue robe with her hair draped loosely behind her shoulders.

Dressed in much the same attire as he has been, Doctor Stephen Strange did take the time to change his clothes while in Midgard. His clothes being a dark blue tunic that seems to become one with the yellow gloves on his hands. The black flame design shows the seams of the sleeves. His cloak of levitation is clasped around his neck, with the Eye of Agamotto working secondary as the pin to hold his magic cape. Black pants held under his tunic from the exterior with a yellow sash and a pair of black leather boots finish off the wizard's attire.

The Sorcerer Supreme floats up the steps into the room, as directed by Frigga earlier and gives the queen a bow once he enters. "I hope I didn't keep you waiting." The warlock says with a thin smile.

Frigga turns a modest smile on Stephen as he reaches the top of the spire. "Not at all. We were just preparing the room." The servants grab hold of the last few items they need to relocate, then the group shuffles downstairs in a hurry. Only the All-Mother of Asgard and the Sorcerer Supreme are left, standing across the room at opposite ends. "Although the circumstances were not ideal, I am glad that you came you when you did. I had wondered who now bore the title of Sorcerer Supreme. When did you come to learn of your destiny?"

"It was after my master, The Ancient One, passed away and passed the title and all of his belongings, and burdens, to me." Stephen says somberly, having fond memories of the old sage. Then he sets his facial features and steps closer to the table with the dagger appearing to balance on it. "No, the events which led to my coming were not pleasant. I am grateful to find such a understanding and welcoming host." Strange keeps his tone and posture respectful of the office and the woman he's addressing. "I thought Thor would be assisting us with this matter?" the wizard asks, not one to be unprepared but always one to question everything.

Frigga nods gently to his explanation and replies, "I am sorry for the loss of your master, but take heart. Great men do not fall to oblivion, rather, they become one with the ages and lend their wisdom and strength to all things." She approaches the table and stands opposite of Stephen, keeping her hands at her sides for now. The closer one moves to the weapon, the more audible its whispers become, groaning like a waterfall that can be heard just around a bend.

"This is no matter for Thor, or any other Asgardian. As the All-Mother, I am responsible for my people in the absence of my king. Once this weapon's secrets are known to me, I will inform Thor and his brothers and they will take it from there." She gestures to Stephen. "With your aid, Sorcerer Supreme, I will force this weapon to lead us back to its point of origin, so that we may finally know our enemy."

Spreading his feet apart and leaning back while lifting his hands up, Stephen looks to Frigga and nods while speaking, "I will aid you Odin-Bride. Shall we begin?" He asks, a gentle breeze seemingly forming at his feet and causing the bottom inches of his cape to flap gently. Summoning his powers as the amulet just beneath his neck begins to part as an eyelid would, the faintest hint of a red iris appearing through the slit in the gold.

Frigga nods silently, then pushes back the sleeves of her robe. "Together, we will take hold of the cursed blade. No matter what happens, do not let go. Do what you can to resist its spell. Focus on making the way clear for us both. The path will be revealed, but only if we do not falter." She reaches out with her right hand and stops an inch from the blade's handle. Her eyes study the sorcerer's face to determine if there is any hesitation. "Are you ready?"

"I have no fear of hesitation in the whole of my being." Strange says as he mirrors Frigga to reach towards the blade and stops only when she does. He retracts one hand to rest on the outer most circle of the crest on his chest, causing they eye to open fully in a near blinding stare. "I am ready All-Mother." Stephen says, waiting to grasp it at the same time she does.
With their hands so close to the weapon, the overlapping whispers are now an undeniable din. Frigga's fixes her expression in a solid look of resolution, and though she cannot hear the sorcerer's words, she nods to acknowledge his readiness. Her lips move overtly to mouth the word "Now," then her hand grips the handle and leaves room for his to do the same.

The voices are bedlam on the mind. One after the other, their orders overlap each other and one phrase barely starts before another chimes in. Their discord urges Stephen to angle the blade forward and drive it into the Queen of Asgard's chest. If a similar request is being asked of Frigga, she does a commendable job of pretending not to listen. Her brow creases with concentration as she rapidly mutters in an ancient language. Unblinking, she keeps her gaze fixed on the Sorcerer Supreme.

If Stephen does react it's nothing more than his brow furrowing, as if in deep thought or concentration. The Eye of Agamotto seems to leap out of the amulet that contains it and it moves up to Stephen's forehead, which then shines a yellow, wide, bright beam of light into the voices themselves, lighting the path between the two arcane masters opposite the blade.

The walls of the room begin to tremble. The shutters flutter as white light fills the atmosphere behind them. That light begins to seep through cracks that form in the walls and floor, as the realm itself begins to strip away so that clarity may be gained.

A single pulse reveals a throne room in ruins, collecting dust in open atmosphere while its aging pillars crumble to the ground.

Another pulse reveals a crowd of ghouls standing in the middle of the room, focusing their hateful glares in the sorcerer's direction.

A third pulse brings the undead audience to the fragile room at the top of the sorcerer's haven. They surround Frigga and Stephen on all sides, condemning their efforts with soulless eyes. The cacophony that demands murderous action comes now from each fiend that stands witness to their growing revelation. The All-Mother grits her teeth and fills her eyes with golden light as she concentrates harder on her task. Age lines become more defined along her forehead and the corners of her eyes.

Stephen's hands emit golden spheres of light, outlined with shades of purple. The third eye at the center of his forehead continues to emit it's unnatural light, allowing Stephen to see through nearly all illusions and to seemingly keep the evil spirits at bay. "Odin-Bride" Stephen inquires, "I will keep them at bay!" He says, referring to the monsters surrounding them, giving her a vocal push to continue the spell further.

Frigga nods silently, then continues her utterances. The walls of the room continue to break away and an unnatural wind flutters the edges of her robe and strands of her hair. The ghouls seem to keep their distance but their eye sockets focus on Stephen, and more than one swipe in his direction. The combined efforts of the All-Mother and the Sorcerer Supreme are having the desired effect, though if anyone else where witness to this they might think differently. The voices gradually lose their overlap and their words become more audible, losing the power of what may have felt to others as pure instinct. It is a relief to the Queen of the Gods, who takes a short breath before continuing her enchanted muttering.

Stephen's focus is aimed at the symptoms of the cursed blade, as the curse itself is being dealt with by a powerful sorceress. The Eye of Agamotto's light seems to reach it's peak, each time a creature attempts to scathe Strange. "Back foul beasts!" Speaks the wizard, his own cloak flapping in the wind unleashed by Frigga's and his own spells. Stephen's eyes have fallen shut, except the one protecting him and the All-Mother from any harm. He holds his pose, drawing on his own power, they power of the amulet and even going so far as to invoke the name of the Vishanti.

The ghouls display muted hissing motions at Stephen, but otherwise retract their attempts at causing him harm. The walls of the room break away to reveal a blinding white light of nothingness beyond them and the ghouls are hurled backwards into the abyss. Each voice, each phrase urging for death, peels away with each fiend lost in the light, until there is only one constant and discernible drone:

"Vengeance… You are the engine of my desire… Do as I command, for your will is mine to tame…"

The voice's words have no effect on the two who hold the opulent dagger. Frigga takes a deep breath and turns her head to glance through her glowing gaze at her changing surroundings. The white light fades to reveal grey caverns filled with the crumbling ruins of an ancient civilization. Gnarled roots twist down from the cavern's rooftop and further destroy what signs of society there once were. Frigga and Stephen are slowly floating through the yawning cavern, hands still joined to the dagger's handle.

Keeping his physical eyes closed, Stephen observes their surroundings with his mystical eye. A direct link between his minds eye and the metaphysical world around the two. He stays silent yet the questions burn in his mind, always wanting to know more, but his lessons with the Ancient One have taught him that many answers will reveal themselves in time. The light from his forehead tones down, decreasing it's potency but is still faintly there just in case it needs to flair up to meet any sudden threats.

Frigga watches the realm move below her, searching for any signs of life. "These ruins… This cavern. It is familiar to me, though I may have never set foot here."

"Maybe it's familiar from the tales your king has told you?" Stephen suggests, not sure how the Norse feel about past and future lives.

"Perhaps… Perhaps I have observed it—" The queen's words cut short when she notices they are gliding past the ruined city. The throne room that crumbled briefly in a pulse is visible below in passing. Their journey brings them to a craggy ledge outside of the city's limits and the two begin to descend into a dark ravine.

"Steady, Sorcerer Supreme. I believe we have found what we are looking for." The All-Mother's brow lifts in wonder as she stares down at a silver disk of light that shines up from the darkness. The closer they come to it, the more it becomes apparent as a pool of liquid that is in constant motion despite no connection to a stream. Their journey stops high above this pool but even at a great distance, a strange and terrible power can be detected within the pool's depths. Staring at it causes the queen to shudder briefly. Her features age as she tries to concentrate on it, but the terrible power within forces even her to eventually look away.

Doctor Strange's eyes open up to observe their destination, "I have read the lore of your people in the tales told on Midgard, but this, is something new to me." Strange speaks finally, hoping it can urge some explanation to pass from Frigga's lips. He glances at the pool, then back to the woman he's assisting, watching the effect the pool has on her. Maybe, even at the assumed great risk, he can be of some help here. Opening fully once more, the Eye of Agamotto shines it's light from the wizards brow to the flowing pool below.

"That such an well of power could go untouched—No, not untouched." The sense of dread creeps up the All-Mother's spine and forces her to turn and see what looms in the darkness: A pair of red eyes set over a massive maw that grins at the interlopers with teeth like swords.

"Odinbride…" The gruff voice that echoes from the darkness precedes a massive claw covered in green scales. The drake's paw reaches from the darkness and seeks to capture Frigga in its grasp, though it is large enough to take both visitors in its palm. "Your soul will surely fulfill my quest."

Worry slides into Stephen's emotions and knowing that he would trade his life for any mortal, he attempts to spin him and the All-Mother around the point of the blade. His free hand stretches out beside his words, "Back worm! You're quest will not end today." A shimmer in the air ripples from the Doctor's palm as the sense of dread surrounds him, but his will prevents him from backing down.

The drake's palm bounces off the ripple, then lowers as he steps out of the darkness for a closer look. The beast is massive but walks on two legs like a hulking man in draconic armor. His back is fixed with three rigid spines that converge where his thick tail begins. He lets off a single scoff, and the wind from his breath threatens to send the sorcerer and queen into a tailspin. "Steer clear of the affairs of the gods, mortal, or you will be driven to ruin."

Up until that moment, Frigga was frozen in dread, but she snaps back to their present situation when the air heats up around them. The drake's maw parts and fire spews from its gullet. Before the flames can make their mark, the All-Mother utters a single ancient word and the dagger drags its passengers sideways through time and space. They're pulled over the caverns, squeezed through a tear in the realm's mystic barrier, then forcefully returned to their station in the Sorcerer's Haven. The Queen of Asgard stumbles backwards as she takes her hand off the dagger and turns away from the table to collect herself.

Stephen takes a hard step back away from the dagger once they are placed back into their own time. His cloak catches him, preventing a spill to the ground as the eye surges back into its home in the medallion at the doctor's chest. "All-Mother." Stephen asks, "Are you alright?" Strange reaches out, once his balance has been restored and he starts to cope with the events that transpired moments ago.

Frigga nods silently and breathes deeply until the deepest breath brings her back to her regal bearing. "I know where we were, and I know who that was." She speaks calmly, though there is the faintest hint of a troubled look lingering in her eye. "Thank you, Sorcerer Supreme, for you aid today. I am truly in your debt." She glides towards the staircase, wafting a hand over the dagger as she passes by the table. The weapon falls on its side and begins to crumble into gold dust that is quickly picked up and scattered on a mystic wind.

"Farewell Odin-Bride." Strange says in respect he bows slightly. Once Frigga has left the room, he begins his decent and back towards the bi-frost. Not sure how much he helped today, but he trust in the all-mother not to lie to him. What would she gain.

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