Forsarro: Flower of Jotunheim

Recorded: April 23, 2014
Characters: Beta Ray Bill, Dorna (NPC), Loki
Location: Jotunheim - Frozen Wasteland
Summary: Bill and Loki escort the Matron Healer in her search for the first ingredient.

With the three primary ingredients revealed, there is little time to waste. Light from the Bi-Frost shines through the whirling snowstorm that takes over a craggy region of ice and rock. Once the light fades, it is difficult to see anything but snow and hard ground jutting up like landlocked icebergs.

Matron Healer Dorna has been given special permission to leave Asgard under the circumstances. She is wrapped tightly in a bearskin cloak that does its best to protect her and her medical kit from the elements. The tools she carries are necessary to properly extract the item they have come for.

Bill stands guard, Stormbreaker held easily in one hand as he looks warily about, "After all the battles with Laufey and Malekith, this is not a good place to linger." His voice is a low growl, as if he thinks speaking too loud might summon giants to attack the group.

Loki doesn't need to wear much in the way of protection from the cold, wearing an outfit similar to his usual casual armor, but with a longer outer layer that reaches calf level in the back, and mid thigh in the front. The front clasps in the middle with a vertical gold clasp, forming an X across his midsection. "Are you afraid, Bill? You are welcome to return to Asgard. I would think you would welcome to opportunity to learn about one of the greatest threats to the Asgardian people. Laufey is my father, afterall." The runt Jotun holds up a gloved hand which glows with faint green energy, a spell to find the location of the herb they seek.

Dorna glances over her shoulder, barely able to see through her hood and the billowing snow flurries. "Let me know when you've located them," she shouts over the roaring wind. "I must extract them as instructed to ensure they retain their potency." She trudges forward to the best of her ability in the deep snow drifts. Loki's spell will point him in the direction of a massive, leaning slab of icy rock that is concealing a brief recess from the harsh wind. At this distance it's difficult to see what's in that direction, but surely the spell knows where they need to go.

Bill looks down at Loki, "Focus your attention on finding what we need, instead of your feeble attempts at wit. I fought frost giants plenty with Malekith's invasion, and it is not myself I am concerned with." With that, he looks warily back and forth, trying to make sure no surprises occur.

"You should be. Focus upon your safety and the safety of the healer. I don't want to have to fight any giants." He holds up his hand, moving it around until it glows brighter and begins to follow that direction. "This way."

The trio move towards the recess into an area where spikes of ice jut out from the snow. The spikes are arranged in bushels like one might expect to find sea urchins on the ocean floor, with their bulk half-submerged in the deep snow. The closer they get to the recess, the more populated the area seems to get with these formations. Dorna carefully maneuvers around a few of them, observing the fact that quite a few are as large as she is. Then she stops, peering forward at the distant recess. It is hard to tell with the thickness of the billowing snow, but there is small movement within the sheltered area.

Bill grips his hammer, "Let me take the lead, just in case." He moves to the fore of the group, lightning crackling subtly over Stormbreaker as he glances back and forth, leading the way forward through the settled area.

"No." Loki says, creating an ice wall in front of Bill, his skin turning blue and his eyes blood red. "Do not call lightning to Stormbreaker or you will bring unwanted attention upon us." He steps around the ice barrier and looks back. "It is not that I do not trust your ability to lead, nor your ability to fight, Bill, but this is unfamiliar territory for you and it would be more beneficial for you to keep a watch while we harvest the herb." He sighs to himself, hoping there won't be a conflict.

The tiny movements continues in the recess and as the group moves further through the field of spikes, the rock shelves on either side do a better job of guarding against the frosty wind. Up ahead, a creature the size of a bear cub is digging furiously at the ice and snow within the sheltered area. It is rather large for a wolf cub but the round features of its snow white face and paws are unmistakable from a fledgling lupine. After a few grunts and furious whimpers, it manages to reveal an icy dandelion of the faintest blue. Loki's orb of detection would glow even brighter at the sight of it.

"There! That is what we have come for," Dorna says with a hopeful energy to her tone. She makes an eager step forward, but stops when the wolf cub happily devours the flower. "… Perhaps there are more beneath the snow?"

Bill considers, then nods once, "I will not argue wisdom, even when it comes from you, Loki." He seems to smile, Stormbreaker no longer crackling as he glances at Loki, "Lead the way. I'll lend my strength if we need it." He blinks and looks a bit amused, "I would think there should be." He looks appreciatively at the wolf cub, tilting his head at it as he hasn't seen something quite like that.

"You do not know me well enough to mock me, Bill. I am sorry that you thin so little of me that you may speak to a Prince of Asgard in such a flippant manner. " His hand glows brightly when the flower is uncovered, and he creates a circle of energy around it so that the bear cub cannot eat it, giving them enough time to get to it. "Do you see that? That is what we are seeking. How many do we need, Dorna?" Then Loki sees the flower being eaten and looks crestfallen until he looks down at his hand. "The glow is still strong. We should keep moving."

The pup pants and squats in the snow, breathing visible breathe in every direction its puffy head turns. When it spots the trio close to the recess, it pops back up on all fours and strikes a defensive pose, growling cutely at their presence. It would almost be adorable, if not for the display of ice spikes that jut out from beneath its raised hackles. The formation of those ice spikes is quite familiar…

Dorna takes a cautious step backwards when the cub postures, but stands her ground when she sees the result of it pawing threateningly at the frozen earth: The faintest hint of a blue flower bud is made visible. "There are more where the creature stands," she declares.

Bill glances at Loki, "I believe the Midgardians have a saying, 'You can dish it out, but you can't take it.'" He gazes sternly at Loki, "How you can profess such disdain for me when you know so little about me, but then act offended when it is returned, is beyond my ken." With that, he crouches down towards the bear-wolf cub, whistling softly to try and call it over to him. Perhaps a predator can relate to another predator, in a manner of speaking.

"Bill, when we met, you called me a demon, knocked me unconscious and broke my arm when I came to investigate. I believe I have a right to be offended. But this is neither the time nor the place. The fate of Asgard hangs in the balance and I will not let you nor anyone else stand in the way of bringing this to a conclusion." He waits to see if the creature goes to Bill, not moving or saying anything else once he begins to whistle.

The pup growls cutely, shaking its miniature display of spikes and scratching at the ground. It inches towards Bill only to yap and back up rapidly again. The sound of the creature's yipping echoes thoroughly in the walled area and is soon answered by the sound of shifting ice crystals. Several of the spikey bushes begin to shiver and recede, causing Dorna to move closer to her two guardians. One by one, four bear-sized white wolves burst from their resting place in the deep snow and splay their spiked hides while glaring in the direction of the interlopers. The one that's closest to them sniffs the air and by the sneer on its long maw, it's easy to see that the creature does not like what it smells.

Bill glances at Loki, "For which, I did apologize, Loki. If I had known the truth at the time, it would not have happened." He glances around at the white wolves, not striking first as he says, "I'll see if I can draw them off, unless you have a better idea."

Loki backs up closer to Dorna, keeping her within his sight so he can protect her. "Draw them off but do not go far. Loop around back to us and I will transport us back to Asgard once she has collected the plants."

The alpha wolf lets off a deep-throated howl and nine more of its kin burst from the tundra. Their spikes make as much of a hissing noise as their maws emit growls. One of the smaller wolves is the first to rush forward and it leaps at Bill with its head ducked down to crash into him.

Dorna looks back at the pup who is still doing its best to look fearsome in this situation. "Loki, the flowers. I must get to them."

Bill does a quick sidestep move, surprisingly quick and deft for his size, and then twirls his hammer and flies slowly away, whistling tauntingly at the wolves as he tries to lure them off. He keeps the thunder to a minimum, dancing just on the edge of the wolves' attacks.

Loki nods to Dorna and lifts a hand to sweep it out in front of him to conjure illusions to throw the animals off, giving Dorna an opportunity to move in and get the plants. He starts casting a spell to transport them back, preparing to open the portal as soon as Bill gets back to them.

The wolf tumbles past Bill and turns immediately to follow his flight path. Four more turn to run with him but the other eight turn to rush towards Loki and Dorna. The first four brace themselves to crash into the illusions but are bewildered when they end up tumbling through them. The other four continue forward and leap with the intention of head-butting into Loki and Dorna. The cub is still firmly planted in the recess and with its packmates on the offensive, it has the courage to stand its ground.

Bill twirls his hammer again, changing course and leading the wolves on a merry chase. Eventually, he curves around and gradually starts coming back, waiting for the signal that the portal is ready before making that last dash.

Loki frowns and will need to use a bit more than just the illusions, it seems. He continues casting with one hand, holding out his other to use his telekinetic ability to move the pup out of the way without bringing harm to it. "Retrieve the plants and let us get out of here before the noise draws the attention of the natives. I have the teleport spell ready to return us to Asgard. Act quickly, Dorna!" If she and Bill are in place he will send them back if necessary and shapeshift into one of the animals so he can get someplace to transport himself back.

The pup moves with a confused grunt and runs away from the invisible force that moved it. This allows Dorna the moment she needs to quickly rush in and kneel beneath the recess. It takes but a moment for her to set up her kit and delicately remove the heads of the frozen flowers. Once she has as many as she needs, she quickly rushes back to Loki's side. "I'm ready," the Healing Matron declares.

Bill flies back to the other two, spotting the two getting back together… and well, he decides at this point to eschew subtlety, using a thunderclap to shake off the wolves and make sure he's free and clear to the rendezvous point. "As am I!" He lands next to Loki and Dorna, glancing back at Loki.

Loki could just totally teleport Dorna and himself back and leave Bill to be eaten by wolves, but figures that would probably be frowned upon. With a sigh, he cuts a line through the air with his hands and casts the final part of the transportation spell.

The wolves are left to growl amongst themselves about intruders in their den. Back on Asgard, Dorna breathes a sigh of relief as she lowers the hood of her bear-skin robe. "Thank you, Prince Loki and Ally of Asgard. Other ingredients must be gathered soon, but I should first return this one to Eir so she can begin its distilling."

Bill nods, "Of course, if there is anything else you require, I shall be glad to assist you." He twirls his hammer, and takes off into the sky, soaring into the Asgardian night.

Loki nods, rubbing his forehead tiredly. He's been running ragged lately, so is just a bit headachy. "If you want us to retrieve them now, we will." He says, "We do have a garden on the outskirts of the city where Eir and I were growing herbs from Midgard. It was supposed to be our secret, but if you want to inspect the garden for what you need, you may."

Dorna shakes her head. "Your offer is kind, my prince, but if what we needed grew in that garden, Eir would not have provided us with a careful list of instructions and locations." She curtsies to the both of them, then turns to be on her way.

"Oh. Right. Well, were any of them located on Midgard?" As she leaves, Loki sighs and goes toward the kitchen to start making another batch of soup for everyone, muttering to himself. At least he picked up a few good recipes from a website for someone called Rachel Ray. Plunking down into a seat as the water boils, he takes out his phone and begins to play Angry Birds. "I am beginning to empathize with the birds."

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