The Prisoner of Svartalfheim

Recorded: March 2, 2014
Characters: Malekith, Heimdall (NPC)
Location: Svartalfheim
Summary: Malekith interrogates Heimdall.

Winding, labyrinthine chambers and cramped, forgotten rooms embody the mad standard in Malekith's nightmarish spire. Details are difficult to determine to any unfortunate enough to awaken within their depths; there are no lights to banish the darkness. For the keen eyes of the dark elves, there is no need.

A spot of moisture has formed at some point on the ceiling at the distant corner of Heimdall's chamber. Whatever the source, a single drip shatters the silence once every ten minutes or so. Heavy chain binds wrist, ankle, and neck to the niter-crusted stone wall. Their rough material is left to the imagination but they must be elven in make. At another corner, something has started to rot and fill the room with an unpleasant must.

The light footsteps are nearly upon the door before they are audible to Heimdall. The door scrapes and shrieks as the rough-hewn components grind against one another. When it opens, there is no flickering of torches that pour into the void.

"My apologies are myriad and sincere, son of Asgard. Our quarters be but an austere shadow of our former glory for, in our absence, a great decay has gnawed upon our empire until naught but shadows remain." Malekith plead, waving a finger towards the entrance. The door agrees to close itself in an unusual display of manners. With a slight bend of the wrist a Will o' the Wisp twirls into existence, dancing too and fro behind Malekith as it investigates the grim cell. "I pray your eyes find this more agreeable, brave ser!"

The living lantern's light brings the grim determination of Heimdall into full view, though Malekith may have already previewed it with his acute vision. The Sentry of Asgard has sat in darkness for however long he's been here. His wounds are mending but undoubtedly still a weak point. Despite the combined discomfort of his injuries and bindings, he has remained in a state of transcendent calm. The dripping water has been the metronome of his meditation.

The thin, toothy smile Malekith provides would find a more fitting home upon a starving hound than it would upon the pale features of the fae lord. "It matters not to me whether you ruminate upon your present state with relief or malice. All I care to learn is the state of our beloved world tree." He expounds, swatting the wisp away with a palm and pacing closer to Heimdall to carefully scrutinize his dour features. "My much esteemed and glorious kin have been long and peacefully slumbering beneath the tranquil beauty of Svartalfheim. One heart…" Malekith pauses, spreading his fingers out across his own breast in clarification. "…filled with boldness and wonder, would do well to temper his actions with prudence. You see, guardian, I must know with what disaster I court so that I may find the truest path with which I may avoid it. So that I may spare my people needless harm."

His arm shifts from his chest to the man's face, squeezing around his chin as he rotates Heimdall's head to better commit his face to memory. "You are not familiar to me. Where is Bor Burison?"

The Sentry of Asgard stares intensely at his captor, teeth clenched in hate as his matted beard is handled. "You wish to know Asgard's current state of affairs," he grumbles. "Seek audience with the royal family like a true dignitary."

"Dost thou think me so brash that I would raise my visage for Bor to riddle my eyes with arrows?" Malekith poses, throwing Heimdall's chin away and storming towards the farthest wall. "Nay, guardian. I will risk no such warfare when all we thirst for is peace." Malekith hisses, throwing his hand aside as he struggles to maintain his wrath. "Dost thou know the tale of Svartalfheim? Bor sought to conquer and enslave. Sought to bind my blood in chains as you are this day so that we may serve and scrape. All we seek is to stand. Alone. Independent. My scouts weave different tales. Our land remains cracked and parched, what few survivors escaped our banishment hid beneath the rocks like vermin. Bor broke our army and confined us to the void; why, now, would he not govern our land? Do we sit upon Bor's realm, guardian? Surely, you can tell us where we dare not tread without risking war upon your lord."

Beneath his resolve to keep all of Asgard's secrets, Heimdall's mind races with the information he's being given. Svartalfheim: The word explains so much about his current surroundings and the unfamiliar face of his captor. "You are Dark Elf, an enemy of the Asgard of old." He speaks calmer now, with a an edge of ancestral shame to his tone. "The time of war between your people and ours is long over. You would do well to present yourself as an ambassador to our court, rather than a general to a needless army." The Sentry ponders what more he should freely share. "Ages have passed since Bor Burison sat on the throne of Asgard. Our king is now Odin Borson, and with him, an age of peace and prosperity has spread across the Nine Worlds. I dare not speak on behalf of my king, but I can assure you that words would be received far better than weapons, and no weapon you wield would be greater than those at our disposal."

Distrust is openly conveyed. "What could have transpired for Bor to pass his legacy to Prince Odin?" Malekith muses, clasping his own chin between thumb and forefinger. "The unwavering light of his soul was inextinguishable. What of the other realms? Does not Ymir still sit upon the frozen throne of Jotunheim? Does Surtur still leave naught but cinders before him?"

Heimdall shakes his head incredulously, as much as his bindings will allow. "Your time away has been long. The kings of old are either banished or obliterated." His eyes squint in curiosity. "Who are you, that you would speak these names as if they were current?"

"I am Malekith, Master of the Hounds and Lord of Svartalfheim. During the great war I was but the Court Magician to our former queen." The fae introduces, bending at the waist in a formal bow. Fingers spread and level towards Heimdall, each sending a glittering spark that cracks towards each of the locks. They each pop and unfasten, snapping free and releasing the man to move under his own volition. "Thou hast acquitted thyself most nobly, warrior. My sincerest apologies; it appears you are not the hostile enemy I had prepared myself to encounter."

Heimdall falls forward on his palms and elicits a cough, both because of his neck being unbound and because his ribs are still sore. He puts a hand to his side and helps himself to a standing position. "Caution is often a necessity in times of war," he replies gruffly. "I can understand the sentiment, given your assumptions." But he is no less annoyed at having been taken prisoner in the first place. "Are your people now without leadership, or have you been self-appointed that honor? If you seek the restoration of Svartalfheim's former glory, it would be of great interest to Asgard."

"I would not call thy word in question, ser. The honor fell upon myself to rally the deep fae and return them to the light." Malekith replies, moving away from the prisoner to press his weight into the door. "I request you present thy name, warrior. I feel at a disadvantage; though…" He pauses, chuckling thoughtfully under his breath. "T'would surely be fair if you chose to withhold it. You are at the disadvantage here. You understand I cannot yet release you until I have audience with Odin Borson. Until then, though, I will instruct my guard to provide thee with light, fresh water, and the most palpable food we can present."

"It is only fair," Heimdall mutters, displaying his lingering suspicion with a narrow-eyed stare. "I am Heimdall, Sentry of Asgard. My eyes and ears are sworn to the royal family, and my word has weight with our king. If you wish to seek audience with him, I suggest you allow me to speak with him on your behalf."

Malekith gives his head a slow shake. "Too long have we lingered in the Gunnungagap while onward still time marched. To long have we waited for Bor to spring an Asgardian trap that would plunge us into our final battle. For now, Heimdall of Asgard, thou art our honored guest. I swear upon the blood that flows through me; this will be resolved as expediently as possible." He replies with a deep bow. The door opens but, for a moment, he lingers in the door. "Does a fae lord still sit upon the throne of Alfheim, Heimdall? Or, like Svartalfheim, has Bor plunged it into darkness?"

At this point, Heimdall stands with his arms fixed firmly around his chest. "Alfheim's people are alive and well. They are governed by Frey Njordson, and their world is a shining example of what yours may be if Asgard is met with an open hand." He turns to find a more comfortable spot in the cell to sit. A corner is chosen, and he leans into it, sliding down to allow his body further time to mend its wounds. "New layers of dust may be added to your cityscapes should my people be met with anything else." The Sentry sighs out his last bit of advice and leans back, resting his head against his raised forearms and closing his eyes.

The sentry earns a final, lingering appraisal. A formidable mind, indeed. "I shall send a healer to address your condition." He murmurs, studying the dank cell distastefully. "As time has passed so have many of our noble houses. Prepare thyself to move to one of their quarters for the duration. If there are any amenities you require; poetry, literature. I will see those needs attended." He remarks, skulking back into the hall and sealing the rigid door behind himself. Frey.

A meaningful glances towards the men at the door. They flank him on either side as he marches towards the barracks and prepares for another voyage.

Heimdall maintains the illusion of rest for as long as his all-hearing ears can tell that the elves are still nearby. One eye opens once they are a good distance away, and a thoughtful stare is cast at the wall across the cell. Hmm.

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