Dinner with the Odin Clan

Recorded: March 5, 2014
Characters: Dr. Strange, Frigga, Loki, Odin
Location: Asgard Palace - Dining Hall
Summary: The Sorcerer Supreme joins the royal family for dinner and raises the question of Surtur's imprisonment.

The dining hall of the royal palace is grand in size, for it has many purposes. The community table that stretches the length of the room has hosted many nobles dignitaries, and other cosmic representatives across the ages. The royal family has their own table positioned cross-ways at the head of the room and though there are enough places for the king, queen and all their princes, only three have been set for now. The Sorcerer Supreme's escort would usher him towards a seat to Frigga's left. Meals will be presented before too long but for now, their table has been garnished with bowls of fresh fruit, trays of bread and tankards of mead and wine.

After being alerted by the guard and orders given, Odin and Frigga walk down the corridor at an unhurried pace, carrying on a light conversation. Behind them, a polite distance away are the two handmaidens that follow. Guards open the large doors moments before they darken its threshold, the Queen graciously escorted by the AllFather. And with Vadir's sudden rush to be ahead, he can't help but cast his eye in some amusement to see if his son did indeed beat them here.

"Your halls are great, and your domain greater. It is an honor to meet you All-Father." Stephen says from behind his armed guard once in ear shot of the King of Asgard. The sorcerer supreme has only arrived in the realm of the gods a short time ago, using his witchcraft to cross the vast distances in mere moments. There is a hint of sweat on his brow but the black haired wizard shows no symptoms of fatigue that would appear as weakness to the bold denizens of Asgard. Strange's voice echoes through the hall for the briefest of instants showing his care as a guest.

Frigga first acknowledges Vadir, who hunches eagerly in his seat and already seems to be halfway through a loaf of bread that was set dangerously within his reach. Stifling her humor, she turns her attention to Stephen Strange and curtsies deeply to greet him. "I am honored by your visit, Sorcerer Supreme, and indebted to you for the recent kindness you have shown our people, as well as myself." She gestures to the royal table where everyone is meant to be seated. The maidens curtsy politely before excusing themselves from the room. Other servants move forward to offer wine or mead for their goblets.

A small shake of Odin's head, hardly perceptible, though attention is drawn to Stephen. "Sorcerer Supreme." He greets evenly, though the King does not bow to the stranger. He inclines his head a measure. "I have heard of your deeds and you have our gratitude. Come and join us so that we may talk." A brief glance is given to Frigga before the All-Father turns to head and take his seat at the table.

Moving towards the table after Odin's greeting and Frigga's gesture shows him where to sit. The mortal takes the seat and scans with his grey eyes over the three gods seated around him, to get an idea of decorum on demeanor as far as Asgardian eating habits and rituals. He mimics Odin more so, but with a modicum of caution, he is the head of the household, even the realm, he can generally do as he pleases. So Stephen keeps that in mind. "As you wish All-Father, talk is what brings me to Asgard, I have a handful of questions I must have answered."

Loki comes into the dining hall, surprised to see so many people here. When he comes into range, he surveys those at the table and folds his hands in front of him. "May I join you?"

While the servants are pouring drinks, the queen helps herself to the Asgardian appetizers set before them. She breaks bread, offering a considerable piece to Stephen since he is their honored guest, then another to her husband. She pulls a few grapes from the fruit bowl and uses a knife to plant a wedge of cheese on her bread. "Whatever your questions, we will be pleased to offer what answers we can." Her gaze scans across the room when Loki speaks, and she points to a seat near Odin. "You are a prince, Loki, you need not ask to eat. Come greet our guest: The Sorcerer Supreme. Long has it been since one of his station has visited our realm, and I had often wondered what became of his predecessor." She turns to Stephen and adds, "I used to share wisdom at length with The Ancient One. He was always a good friend."

Odin's eating habits are fairly refined in contrast to some of his sons, but he is no flounder when it comes to a hearty meal, either. The bread is taken from Frigga with a small nod, his goblet taken up in the other to drink from. Loki's arrival is met with a cant of his head to the chair next to him. Whatever disagreement they had earlier, the All-Father is clearly over it. "Ask what you will, Sorcerer Supreme." Clearly Frigga is being the more talkative one tonight. Though a large portion of Odin's attention is divided amongst those gathered, he is paying keener attention to their guest. Not rudely so, mind.

Stephen says his 'thank you's' for the lump of bread and takes a slice of a melon to place on his plate. The wizard takes a sip of his mead with a slight pause as the drink it stouter than he had originally anticipated. "The ancient one has become one with the universe." Referring to the death of his master's body and the removal of the man's ego, allowing him to go forth without a sense of self. Strange appears solemn for a moment and then looks up to Loki, giving a bow of his head, though the two have met before, twice in fact, both times were not pleasant, though Stephen remains silent not willing to ask his questions at this time in front of the prince.

Loki nods and takes his seat, not looking TOO annoyed that his seat has been taken by a mortal. He picks up a few grapes and other fruit, more nervous about siting next to Odin than anything. "I had met the Sorcerer Supreme on Midgard while I was visiting once." Loki looks between Frigga and Stephen, keeping his expression neutral. Oh, this could be fun.

"You are in good company, Sorcerer Supreme. Mother does find a kindred spirit in magic users. I am certain you will get along so very well."

It isn't long before the kitchen servants bring forth their bounty. Five large trays are brought out first: Dyresteg - roast venison with goat cheese sauce; slottsstek - slices of pot roasted beef; fiskeboller - fish balls in spiced sauce; cabbage leaves stuffed with ground beef; and roasted potatoes surrounded in other large, seasoned vegetables. Two servants carry each tray while a third puts as much food on each diner's plate as they will allow. Once everyone is served individually, the trays will be left behind for the purpose of having seconds.

Frigga takes a portion of something from each offered dish and while her first helping may pale in comparison to the men of the household, it is certainly more than one might expect to see on a woman's plate. A goddess has got to eat, after all. "It is my duty and privilege to maintain Asgard's ties with the Sorcerer Supreme," she adds to Loki's comment. "Ask what you will of us. If it is an answer that cannot be given, we will say as much."

Odin's plate is filled far more heartily. Loki's nervousness isn't ignored, and in perhaps a quiet peace offering for the evening, he breaks off a piece of the remainder of his bread to offer to the Prince. Peace. At least for now. A brief look is given with the gesture to Loki. Accepted or not, his attention returns to Frigga and Stephen. If Vidar tries to go too caveman, there will be a faint growl from the All-Father. Since Frigga is saying what needs to be said, he simply digs into his meal.

Stephen spots no one else leaning to allow the servers to place food on their plates, so he remains still until his is filled and he chooses to grab another helping of cabbage and beef. "I have come to inquire about a myth I heard recently. About a beast known to Asgardians that dwells beneath the surface of my planet's outer crust." Stephen's eyes dance around those seated, lingering on Loki's a little longer than everyone else's.

Loki looks up at Odin and takes the bread, nodding his thanks. "Thank you, father." Loki looks at Vidar and lifts his piece of bread. "Brother Vidar, may I introduce to you an alternate way of using your bread? Perhaps you would find it to your advantage to hollow out your bread and use it as a vessel to consume your other food." Loki demonstrates, pulling a bit of bread out and scooping some meat into it. "You must mean Surtur." He says simply, meeting Stephen's eyes as he folds his hands on the table.

Frigga pauses her meal at Stephen's words, then glances to Loki. "There are other beings, but, Surtur does come to mind…" Her gaze trails thoughtfully to her husband's face.

"Surtur." Odin breathes the name in a rumbled tone, his food forgotten for the moment. He gaze looks past those at the table as he recounts: "Native of the plane of Muspelheim, he is considered my mortal enemy." His expression darkens a measure, "While I have battled him, with Thor at my side, defeat in a measure was not to be had. I imprisoned him at Midgard's center." His blue eye shifts to settle on Stephen fully, a certain weight held in that look. "For what reason do you seen information on Surtur?"

"I heard from my disciple that the attack on Asgard, by the mutants Magneto and Quicksilver, was related to the being within my home planet." Stephen says, choosing his words carefully, attempting to not throw out the potential involvement with Loki, more to protect his own hide from the wrath of a powerful father. Nor to lose the trust of Frigga. "I was hoping to learn more should this develop further so that I may be prepared to defend the Earth."

"What?" Loki asks, totally boggled. "Why would Magneto say that? Oh. I learned something about Surtur while on Midgard. It is said that I will be the one to free him from his bonds. Is that true, father?'

Frigga closes her eyes in quiet reflection as she continues her meal. The topic of the mutant raid on Asgard is a sore one in this household, especially considering the reason for their being here. She spares a glance to Loki with an arched brow that seems to suggest he would be wise to keep to himself.

"Histories are written, futures are not. What you do is done so by your own hand and not forced by literature." Odin's stern reply to Loki along with a brief look. He remembers well such events and by expression, not fondly. "There is little you, nor anyone of your realm can do against Surtur. If he is released, it will be my place to imprison him again." Though such a saying weighs heavily on the All-Father. They take care to avoid interfering with mortal lives. It would be dire if he were to step in himself. "What rumors is it that you hear of the Surtur? Are there whispers of those plotting to free him?"

"I must try though." Strange says, being the sorcerer supreme he has taken an oath to protect the earth, even at the cost of his own life. Strange takes a bite of some of his food, and chews on it, while thinking of the correct words to say once more, "Nothing more than that, rumors and whispers on the wind." Strange replies, glancing to Frigga, to attempt a telepathic message, (Loki was the one who originally told Magneto, I am trying to gather more information back on Midgard but not much has been uncovered as of yet.)

Loki takes a sip of his drink and watches Strange. "Nobody on your world is even capable of traveling to the center of your planet, so I do not know why this is even a concern. You should invite people to try. It would be a fantastic way to eliminate your enemies." He looks between the others and adds, "I am joking, of course."

Frigga pauses eating yet again. The sorcerer's projected thoughts are weighed heavily but the queen resumes eating as if she had only paused to savor her venison. . o O (I will have words with him on his intentions and advise you accordingly afterwards.) The thought is mystically transferred. "I would agree with part of Loki's sentiments," she comments aloud and reaches out to squeeze her husband's hand. "Mortals are bold creatures but they would bring about their own ruin if they were so bold as to awaken Surtur." She smiles at Odin. "On thought alone, they would risk the wrath of my king."

"Try as you might." Odin shakes her head lightly, almost tiredly. It took him and Thor's combined might to imprison Surtur before. Such thoughts weigh heavily on him. The touch to his hand and it turns over to receive Frigga's, calloused fingers squeezing her hand in return. "If you hear further whispers, I ask to be notified immediately." Ask, he's being nice. This is not a battle he will look forward to, but one he will do as necessary if it comes. Loki's comments go all but ignored. At least unanswered.

"I wish not to awaken this being either, but I will stand before it in contest. Hopefully with the aid of the All-Father." Stephen notes, His power might not be that of Odin's but it's not insubstantial. Loki is given a glance with the wizard raising his eyebrow at the joke, but nothing more. "I will send word when I do hear more. I see this topic weighs heavily on your family, so I will leave it at that." Stephen says, filling his mouth once more, also to send a reply to Frigga (I thank you once more All-Mother.)

"That is perhaps for the best, but I still do not see why you are concerned with Surtur's release. Nobody on your world would survive a journey to the center of your planet, and nobody else knows he is even there. It doesn't seem as though Surtur poses any danger unless the sorcerer intends to release him."

Frigga smiles at her plate, withdrawing her hand from Odin's with a reassuring pat. Now her attention turns fully to their guest and she wonders, "Will we be graced with your presence more often in the future, Sorcerer Supreme? I imagine the Ancient One spoke briefly to you of the mystic arts of Asgard and Vanir, but I would be honored to confer that subject with you at length. As the new representative of this station, it would be to your benefit." She gives Loki a stern glance but quickly returns a smile to Stephen.

"If Surtur should awaken, I will be there." Odin promises without pause. Odin's eye shifts to Frigga briefly at the pat, a slight nod of his head given in reception. Loki is tilted a brief harder look as he continues rambling, but the All-Father takes a moment to eat. If he has anything to say about Frigga and Stephen spending more time together, he keeps it to himself. Don't mind the rumbling outside. Really.

"I pray we never have to." Stephen says with a rare smile, lifting his goblet in a toast before taking another fuller drink. Then with a look back at Frigga, "I strive to learn what I can about all magics. I will remain for some time to hear your teachings." Strange says, before finishing his first helping and learning forward slightly to grab a much smaller second set of portions.

Loki nods and smiles. "I see you and mother have become such good friends. Perhaps once the meal is over you two can visit the library or go for a walk in the gardens to become better acquainted." He takes a few dainty bites of his food and sips his wine. "Are they not two of a kind, father?"

Frigga endures to ignore Loki's teasing, opting instead to smile at Stephen's eagerness to learn. "I will not distract you from your duties as Midgard's protector, but we will make time in the future for your instruction. It is the least that can be offered for your assistance to Asgard in our hour of need." She looks to Odin for a nod of agreement, then resumes her meal. The queen may be oblivious to the perceived implication of her welcome, but there is no going back on it now. The dinner is continued with other topics shared before the company parts ways.

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