Fafnir the Fallen

Recorded: February 16, 2014
Characters: Fafnir (NPC), Frigga, Loki, Thor
Location: Nastrond
Summary: The sons of Odin face the gargantuan dragon, Fafnir.

The princes of Asgard were given their orders and the location of the recent rift: Just inside of an old cave that used to be occupied by a bear. The ruins of Nastrond are waiting on the other side of the portal. Beyond the crumbling pillars and foundation of what used to be a castle, a dark ravine conceals the artifact in question. Loki has been furnished with a small mystic cask to hold the well's waters, should it prove impossible to destroy.

Loki was up a bit too late last night, so when he came down to start their journey in the morning, he was more than a bit sleepy. Dressed in his traveling gear, he wears a sturdy yet elegant forest green tunic with his leather pants and boots. He has the fortune of swapping out to something with more protection at a moment's notice, afterall. Loki would have stared at the cask on the journey, pondering quietly how he was going to go about destroying the well.

"I'm already disappointed." Thor tosses towards Loki's shambling figure. "I would have liked to kill that bear." A grin lights his features as he reaches across his body to tighten first one bracer then the other. "I fear we have over-prepared for this quest, brother. How powerful can a vanquished man be?"

"Brother," Loki yawns, "use that walnut-sized brain inside your skull for once. Even you cannot be so dense as to not remember that he was affecting the people of our realm into murdering each other from Nastrond. That cannot even have been his full power. He would certainly cause more problems had he possessed any more."

"Odd. For someone so superior of intellect, you seem to forget the tone to take to avoid finding yourself in another sling being coddled by Eir." Thor muses, letting his wry grin twist with a mischievous crease. "Perhaps she likes her suitors strung up like a marionette and whining like a starving hound?"

"She had no complaints last night about me whatsoever." Loki says absently, "Was that a threat? I believe you continue to underestimate me. Besides, perhaps you should remember your own tongue, brother, if you do not wish to have Fafnir destroy you in a single blow because there was nobody to remove the well."

"Alas, poor brother. What ever would I do were you to relieve me the burden of lashing at the mortals that bloody your nose?" Thor cries towards the concealed heavens. He takes pause as the pair approach the end of the tunnel, snorting under his breath. "Speaking of the well, I am eager for your part in destroying it. Have you any plan, yet?"

The grey landscape of Nastrond is quiet save for the occasional echo of a rock that slips out of place. One should think that this would make it very easy to see their host coming, but Fafnir has not survived this long on well water alone. The cunning king has remained hidden and watchful over his prey, tracing their movements with a silent gaze. Boastful as he is cunning, the fiend's voice suddenly fulls the atmosphere from all directions, keeping his whereabouts unknown while making his presence heard. "So the Odin-sons come for me, yet I hardly think I need to lift a finger at all to divide and conquer your pair, what with this noise I hear…"

"You still know not of what you speak, Thor. Not everyone can call thunder and lightning or flex their muscles to vanquish their enemies. I never claimed that my ideas were without devastating flaws. I still maintain my intentions were good. And you still don't know about the shadow creature I fought that could have killed many mortals. But to answer your question, yes, I have devised several plans." When the voice speaks up, Loki sighs and rolls his eyes, straightening his shoulders. "So you may believe, foul beast, but we have been arguing for centuries."

Thor squints his sharp eyes as the light floods forth in drab rays until his eyes readjust once again. They search the area for any sign of the source of the booming adversary. "Tis unsurprising, brother. He may have forgotten the friendly rivalry brothers share throughout the years." He remarks, chin tensing into a rugged scowl. "This is your final offer, Lord of Nastrond! Surrender now to answer for the crimes you have inflicted upon the people of Asgard. I will speak in favor of mercy." Thor offers, tearing Mjolnir from his belt and rising into the air.

"MERCY!" Fafnir's voice crashes through the open space, causing stalactites to break free of the cavern ceiling. "It is YOU who should plea for mercy from ME!"

A massive hand bursts through the ruined road with fingers large and strong enough to bind whichever prince might get caught in their grasp. The thick arm that follows falls like a tree trunk as the palm waves to flatten the landscape and anything underneath it.

Loki pulls his daggers as he slings the cask over his shoulder, prepared to strike when Fafnir reaches out. He finds himself on the ground, however, and not in his giant hand. Blinking, he waits a few moments to see what is going to happen before making any moves.

The culprit that knocked Loki aside is whisked back into the air as Thor is snatched up by Fafnir. "This is not what I expected him to look like!" Thor barks down at Loki, turning to regard the scaled arm and searching for the face that is sure follow. "Forget what I said! This is far better than slaying a bear!" He roars with an eruption of bold, thunderous laughter. The stern voice of Thor seems to boil forth from the now crackling air as heavy clouds strangle what light they can from the sickened sky.

"I am Thor Odinson, Lord of Thunder, and I gladly accept your request for death!" He roars, kicking forward in an attempt to snap one of Fafnir's fingers ninety degrees in the wrong direction.

The God of Thunder may find himself surprised at just how resilient the scaly grip is. It barely responds to the feel of his foot, except to pound the Asgardian into the fragile ground. The rock and ruins give way to allow Fafnir to emerge halfway out of the ground, and half of his body is enough to dwarf the courtyard he once governed.

"Well met, Odin's first and favored son!" He brings Thor close to his madly grinning maw. "I am Fafnir, king of nothing! I have lost all that I was, all that I ruled over, thanks to your father's whims. But I will return the favor in kind, starting with YOU!" He launches the prince like a skipping stone, aiming for wherever Loki stands.

Loki scowls at Fafnir, holstering his blades in favor of throwing his hands out to slow Thor's tumble. He throws another hand out to try and blind Fafnir with magic, not in the mood to play games with the dragon. "You're going to lose a lot more than that, Fafnir. We are not here to listen to you prattle on."

Thor's crimson form streaks across the ground, tumbling several times before he's able to slam both of his feet and a single fist into the ground, cocking Mjolnir over his head as he skids to a halt and gathers a mound of earth at each heel. His eyes are engulfed with a luminous blue flare while sparks dance across the hammer.

"What remains of your kingdom of dust will wilt beneath my might!" He bellows across the ashen plain. A single shaft of light reflects atop his winged helm as the eye of a tremendous hurricane winks into existence through the clouds high above. "I have come for a specific purpose, Fafnir the Fallen, and it seems that purpose is to escort your soul to the realm that awaits!"

The beast-king's bellowing laughter sends even more of the stalactites to what's left of the ground. "My realm is already dust and I have nothing left to lose. But I will have your souls, sons of Odin, and the rest of Asgard will meet you in oblivion!" Fafnir's massive maw parts and the air heats up rapidly as he spews forth a cone of fire that spreads to meet this hurricane head-on.

While the Asgardians are entertained by their gracious host, at least one objective remains untouched. The well of power rests alone at the bottom of a nearby ravine, casting an attractive and silvery gleam of light from the darkness of its station.

Loki uses his projective telepathic ability to project to Thor «Thor, keep him busy, I am going to seek out the well.». He turns and begins to sprint, aiming to get past Fafnir while Thor keeps him busy. Loki heads toward the ravine, where he suspects the well is located.

A trio of lightning bolts flash from the clouds towards the head of Mjolnir, igniting both weapon and warrior with a shimmering mantle of static. At Thor's reckoning, enough words have been shared. Besides, he's relishing the opportunity to enter a fight with a being strong enough to present one. The prince shoots through the air in a blur of movement, spinning then slamming the weapon forward to try and smash the dragon's leering teeth from his leering head.

Fafnir grunts as Mjolnir strikes him on the front of his snout. The dragon's head is knocked sideways but as his neck and shoulders follow the blow, his tail erupts from the rocky landscape and swings forward to strike Thor with that same momentum. Meanwhile, the well of power is easily located because of the light it gives off. The potential of its waters was enough to bring uncontrollable dread over the Queen of Asgard when she gazed upon it, but not everyone's exposure to the pool may be the same.

Loki stands over the ravine and looks down, then proceeds to slide down the side. Once he reaches the bottom, he carefully walks over to it and looks down into the water. He draws in a sharp breath and closes his eyes, turning his head to the side, but then finds himself looking down into the water again. "Power…" he whispers, "So much…power."

Shaking his head, he tries to snap out of it, and pulls the cask around. Opening it, he begins drawing the water into it, his hands trembling. After a short while though, he stops, grinning evilly. "Oh yes, dear brother…do keep him busy for just a bit longer…"

The sound of the ground shifting beneath the movement of the tail earns Thor's attention in time to steal a glimpse of the gargantuan tail whipping in his direction. Rather than meeting the blow directly, He rushes forward in another rush of motion, twisting his path mid-flight to try and grasp the tail and move with it, using the momentum to pry the dragon from his perch and send him into the sky.

The dragon is effectively uprooted but he plants his hands and feet, causing what has historically been known as a far-reaching fling to diminish into a rolling toss through mountainous stalagmites. Fafnir tumbles towards the dark ravine and uses an outstretched hand to keep himself from dropping into its basin. As he dangles over the edge, he catches a glimpse of Loki's actions and immediately drops down to land near the sorcerer and the pool that is slowly being drained into his cask. "What do you think you're doing," the monster bellows before he belches another wave of fire into Loki's direction. The cask is doing a good job of drawing in the mystic water and though it is small enough to rest in the crook of the prince's arm, it doesn't seem to run out of room to pull more water in.

Loki laughs darkly as he watches the water, trembling. His hair falls over his forehead, and he looks up at the dragon slowly. "What does it look like I'm doing?" He asks, "I'm stealing the source of your ability to affect the people of Asgard, and then I am going to use it to destroy you." He says it so matter-of-factly that there is probably little doubt that is exactly what he has in mind. All but a handful of water is drawn into the cask, which Loki holds in his hand, looking down into it, considering. Slowly, he brings the unsteady hand close to his lips, ready to take a sip from it.

The dragon breathing fire snaps him out of it for a moment, and he nearly drops the casket, bringing his forearms up to try and project a magic field to mitigate some of the powerful fire. He catches some of the fire to the back of the hands and forearms, singing some of his hair, but he isn't about to be driven away that easily. Fafnir receives a burst of magic in return to try and drive HIM back. "Begone you foul smelling beast." Loki growls menacingly.

It was unwise to turn his back on the legendary warrior born. Thor leaps high above the pair and grabs hold of one of the stalactites to tear away with a grunt then hurl like a javelin towards Fafnir's spine. Thor is not far behind, teeth gritting as he readies to slam Mjolnir into the rock and hammer it into the dragon like a railroad spike.

The stalactite would make an effective projectile if not for the three rows of web-like spines jutting from Fafnir's backside. The central spine cuts through the rock spear on impact and while the beast-king is driven into the ground by the push of Thor and Mjolnir, he does not stay down long. "Foolish Thundergod! My flesh is my armor! My strength unopposed! I will grind your bones into the DUST!" He turns and launches his massive fist forward to push Thor through the wall of the ravine.

The cask does its duty and draws in all of the well's water. Without the silvery light, the ravine is only lit by the glowing red of Fafnir's eyes and traces of fire from his earlier fit.

"Thor, our duty is finished. Make your escape now, while you can." Loki adds a bit of light to the ravine by conjuring an enormous amount of magic energy and grabbing the edges of the well, looking as though he's about to throw up into it, but instead unloads all that energy into it in order to destroy it. He grits his teeth and projects as much of his magic pool as he can without exhausting it all. He hopes to possibly collapse part of the cavern so Fafnir can't escape behind them. "Your ability to cause harm to the people of Asgard is no more, Fafnir."

There is so much Thor simply wasn't aware of. His first priority, though, is moving away from the fist. His lungs grow thick with air as he gulps in a deep breath. The room fills, briefly, with cyclone-force wind; rather than blowing the dragon away, though, he effectively pushes himself just high enough to dodge the punch. He will withdraw, but it will not be without inflicting damage upon the behemoth.

A single hand reaches down upon the scaled fist below him for traction then swings his hammer forward to propel himself at one of the glowing eyes with tremendous force. "Commit the last face this ever sees to memory, fiend!" Thor rumbles

Though the cavern walls are crumbling in a raucous explosion of rock thanks to Loki, the beast-king's furious roar manages to out-do the tumultuous sound. Fafnir grips his wounded eye with one hand and lashes wildly with the other, sending even more of the ruined landscape crashing down around him. "I WILL BE YOUR END, ODINSON!" The very top of the cavernous realm begins to collapse, and while Fafnir is fearless in the face of being buried alive, he moves to rush after the princes with murderous intent.

Loki climbs up to the surface and pants, the cask on a strap around one shoulder and across his chest and back. He charges for Thor, reaching out to try and grab him. "We must go now! Let this blowhard perish by his own words."

Loki is here. Perfect. Thor grips the trickster by the arm and spins several times, gaining uncomfortable amounts of speed before releasing to launch Loki smashing through any debris in the way, potentially with his face, to shoot in the portal. One final spin snaps Mjolnir forward and sends the Lord of Thunder catapulting into the portal himself.

The last thing the brothers may hear from Nastrond is the sound of Fafnir's angry roar finally being overtaken by the collapsing rock. When they make it through the portal, Frigga and several maidens are waiting on the other side clad in similar golden robes. They immediately begin to chant ancient words that send cracks of white light through the portal. A pair of guards reach forward to help Loki and Thor move clear of the sorceress's ritual.

Loki goes slamming through debris and rock, thrown through the portal and landing with a clatter upon the floor of the palace. He is a bit stunned, so just sort of lay there on his side trying to focus. The guard pulls him away from the portal, which gives him a moment to reorient himself and get to his feet. He glares at Thor as he removes the ask from over his shoulder. "I will take the cask to the armory."

"I would relieve you the burden the cask would have on a hungry soul." Thor calls forward, shouldering a path beyond the guards and holding a hand forward expectantly. "With mother and her handmaidens here, I think it prudent to surrender the task into her care for now."

"Get away from me, Thor." Loki says sourly. "I am not going to drink the water. Mother has her tasks. Handling the cask was mine." He turns away from Thor and starts toward the path toward the Armory.

"Tis not the time or place to take a stand over such trivial urges. I do not think less of you; nor do I think you weak. The lies that well whispered were corrupting and perverted, Loki. When the portal has been sealed it is best for all that she be entrusted with the task." Thor explains, his lip dipping into a small frown. "Regardless of the risks involved, regardless of your strength of character, I will not see you twisted into a foul mockery of yourself as was Fafnir of Nastrond."

A casual, almost pleading stare is cast over a shoulder towards his mother to check on their progress.

"You threw me through rock and debris and nearly dislocated my shoulder. Go to Niffleheim." He continues to try to push past Thor, telekinetically shoving him if necessary. "I know what was in the well, Thor. I looked into it. I held the water in my hand. I was tempted but I did not drink from it. I appreciate your concern if that is indeed what it is, but the sooner it is sealed in the armory, the better."

The gathering of sorceresses make their final chant in unison, then the All-Mother steps towards the deformed rift, her eyes filled with yellow energy. She slaps one palm forward and the portal shatters, sending shards of itself flittering in all directions before they dissipate. "Your task was to retrieve the well's waters, not see where they will be kept." Frigga turns to her sons and holds out her hand. Her eyes are still burning with energy that makes her look all the more intimidating in this moment. "Give me the cask."

Loki is granted an uncomfortably long and silent stare from Thor as the prince considers his next words carefully. "Were it not for Mjolnir, that would not have gone so smoothly." Thor murmurs, turning to regard his mother. "Were it not for Mjolnir, the outcomes of my more recent victories may have been disappointingly different."

"As you wish, mother." He sounds so sweet now, holding the cask up by the strap and magically moving it toward her. Loki narrows his eyes at Thor, looking up at him with an expression that indicates he is totally on the shit list. "You had your duty, I had mine. We both have our strengths and purposes. You have strength of body, I have strength of mind. Did I not complete the task I was given? Did I not destroy the well after draining its water? What MORE do you want from me, Thor??"

"Were my sons to seek silence amongst themselves, they might hear how proud their mother is of their efforts this day." Frigga shakes her head as she tucks the cask close to herself. As she moves out of the cave, the energy dissipates from her eyes and when she looks back at the princes, it is with the smile one might expect from a proud mother. "When you have finished your childish quarrel, join me in the throne room so that we may close this chapter and begin another." She disappears after a few more steps are taken. The sorceresses all chuckle behind their hands as they pass Loki and Thor and the guards that escort them do their best to stifle their chuckles.

Loki earns a disgusted sneer from Thor as he brushes past. "Indeed?" He inquires, giving his head a shake as he falls into Frigga's wake.

Loki ignores Thor as he looks to Frigga, falling into step as well as he fixes his hair. He remains silent as he heads toward the throne room, the gears in his head turning. He might not drink the water himself, but he can play with the small amount he saved later…

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