The Royal Family Mourns

Recorded: April 28, 2014
Characters: Dorna (NPC), Loki, Odin, Thor
Location: Asgard Palace - Odin and Frigga's Chambers
Summary: Frigga's death is announced, along with the final ingredient to the cure.

There is no greater sorrow in the land of Asgard than that which has befallen this day. It began with a healer's cry of woe that spawned a dark cloud which has settled over the grandeur of the palace. Every available member of the royal family has been summoned, though what awaits them are grim tidings indeed.

Outside the royal chambers, several maidens stand weeping and holding each other for comfort. The two Einherjar posted at the door stand now with their helmets off and heads hung low. Dorna stands in the doorway with her otherwise strong countenance wavering in the present situation. It is all she can do to keep from weeping, but her eyes are welling with tears waiting to be shed.

Odin is quick to answer the summons with a quick step that threatens a jog as he moves through the palace. Any that get in his way are shoved aside. The All-Father is not in any sort of mood to be kind. There is fear in his heart, for he knows how ill she has been. As he nears the doorway, the Eirherjar are barely given a glance, his eye sweeping the maidens and finally on Dorna, expectantly.

Thor was trailing not far behind the Allfather, doing his best to refrain himself from punching a path towards the chamber. He frowns as he shoves a way through the hallway, centering an inquisitive glare on the center of the activity. "What transpired here? Where are the other healers?"

Loki frowns as he makes his way to the corridor, opting to walk instead of just pop in. He doesn't want to guess what has happened, but he is fairly certain. His expression remains stoic, though his heart is beating rapidly. "Dorna, what is it?" He asks, then falls silent when he realizes Odin is there, as well as Thor.

The forlorn look on Dorna's face is very telling, yet she speaks when expected. "My king… my princes. The Queen of Asgard… She is no longer with us." The reality of her statement releases the tears that were held back by her and the nearby maidens. Dorna eases the door of the royal chambers open and steps aside so husband and sons can see what has become of their matriarch.

Frigga Odinbride, daughter of Frey, high sorceress of Asgard, is now no more than a body on a bed. Her eyes and mouth have been closed, and her hands and hair are smoothed alongside her body to give her the dignity she deserves in death.

His expression steels when those words are spoken. There is a wave given to her and the other weeping women, "Go." In clear dismissal to let them tend and compose themselves. He doesn't look at his sons, his single eye cast towards his shared chambers with the Queen. With forced steps, he moves into the chambers, though even the All-father falls to a knee at the bedside as his large hands wrap around one of her own, bowing his head against it. His shoulders are tense, biting back his own tear that threatens in his solitary eye. Outside, the clouds are dark and depressing. No sunlight today. A soft rain even begins to fall as if the sky itself weeps.

Thor feels little but helpless rage. His vision flicks from Frigga to Odin then Loki and back once again. "What do we do?" He demands, clenching his fists until his knuckles are a stark white. "Who can be responsible?"

Loki slips into the room and freezes, hands clasped in front of him, eyes wide. One can almost hear the sound of glass breaking inside of him as he tries to process the worst thing that could happen to him. He opens his mouth to say something, but closes it again. Words just would do no good at this moment, so he just swallows hard and stands there like a statue.

The maidens are ushered away with the help of the Einherjar. With the queen long gone, they have no need to stand guard anymore. Dorna turns for the hallway as commanded but lingers when Thor asks his questions. "There is no responsibility to bear," she replies softly. "The Queen has succumbed to the plague, as have many of our people. It is not the fault of anyone."

The rain makes Asgard cooler than it would normally be this time of year. The weeping sky is heavy in its sorrow, reflecting much of the heart of the ruling family.

Odin is quiet for a long moment, a single drop of wetness against the back of Frigga's hand as he lifts his head. Though in containing his sorrow, it is instead replaced by a boiling rage as he rises to his feet. A rage, that would have likely been far kinder if Dorna hadn't of spoken.

"It is the responsibility of someone." Odin growls, his tone a harsh bite that Loki would likely be all too familiar. Though it isn't directed at him. "This is no simple plague, it is a curse upon our land and our people. It has taken the lives of many, including those we hold dear and threatens to take more." Outside, reflecting his rage is the rumbling. In his current state, there is little held back in his power. He is absolutely seething.

"Who can do this? Jotunn again?!" Thor demands, giving Mjolnir a preparatory swing and casting a dark glance towards Odin. "I will tear their realm apart. Starting with Laufey."

Loki shakes his head. "This is far beyond Jotun magic. If and when anyone gets an opportunity to kill Laufey, it will be me." He falls dangerously silent again, quietly glaring and plotting.

The king's anger causes Dorna to step back against the open door with her head bowed. "Forgive me, my king, I did not mean to speak out of turn," she mumbles quickly, then looks between the Odin men. "Although this news comes too late to aid our beloved queen, I did bring word of the final ingredient for the cure." Her eyes land on Loki. "Mistress Eir is bed-ridden herself now, but she can still dictate what needs to be done. She says that the last ingredient is the rarest of all: Death's Kneel, a root known only to the long-abandoned realm of Nastrond. Though that realm has been void of life for centuries, if anything were to still thrive in its ruins, the root would be there as well."

Despite the dire news of the Royal Healer, Odin's eye narrows on Dorna. "Nastrond." He repeats, though the name that comes after is growled and nearly spit like venom: "Fafnir."

Having just lost his wife, ontop of all else, the All-Father is on a war-path. Gungnir is summoned to his hand, his knuckles white as he holds it. "This. ends. now." A brief glance is given to each son, but no words spoken. They can either follow or get out of his way. Regardless, Odin moves with a fierce step past them, his cloak snapping in a billow behind him in his wake.

Woe to any who get in his way.

"I should have tried to finish him when I had the chance." Thor murmurs, voice grinding low as he moves past the group. His path and direction are clear. He sets a warpath for the Bifrost. "We cannot let him live."

Loki shifts into his battle armor and falls into step behind Odin and Thor. He is still a bit tired from their adventure in Muspelheim, but his hatred and anger provides sufficient fuel to keep him going.

Dorna steps aside so that the royal family may pass, but is soon on their heels. "I have an etching of the root with me," she calls and holds a small scroll in their direction. "Please bring back as much as you can find." It was her intention to go with them but knowing that an enemy may be in the realm, the Matron Healer knows it would be best if she stayed behind.

Loki takes the scroll from Dorna and mutters a quiet "Thank you," and nods to her, then tucks it into his dimensional pocket and continues after the others. But if Odin goes, who is going to be in charge of Asgard?

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