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Late September 2020

A cold evening in Oslo, near the Holmenkollen Ski Museum

 

They all heard the call. A raven with a whisper came on the wind.

 

The word is given. Come to Oslo. Odin is calling.

 

To the eyes of any, they were a strange crowd. Mythic warriors, demigods, valkyries. People out of their own time, out of their own world, and yet, brought together by the words of the ravens.

 

At the top of Holmenkollen, two ravens waited.

 

A single bolt of lightning split the sky.

Edited by RocketLord
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VALKYRJA

AT LAST!

 

Bobbi felt the call deep down in her, or there, very soul a yearning call drawing her home. Just like them to pick the worse time to call out to her, she guessed Asgard didn’t know about Time Zones.

 

Are you okay dear?” her patient looked at her kindly, Bobbi must have zoned out for a few seconds.

 

Sorry I was just checking something important.” she smiled to reassure them “You’re fitter than me, nothing to worry about!”

 

She gently shuffled her out of the room, letting the woman tell her about her son, or daughter, that she might like to date one day. Once out the door she turned to Nurse Donna who was use to this by now, she wondered just how many people in Norumbega didn’t know that she was Valkyrja.

 

Your fine we have nothing serious for the rest of the day, I can handle the locals.”

 

If I could I’d give you a raise.” Bobbi quipped

 

In that case you couldn’t afford me, go do your thing!” Donna waved Bobbi away.

 

Once she was outside and out of sight, though she wondered why she bothered to keep it a secret, and drew the handle of Hrímbíta that glowed as the blade came into being transforming into Valkyrja.

 

TO ME FRARVAENGR WE TRAVEL TO MEET LORD ODIN HIMSELF”

 

Within a few second, thanks to the magic teleporting of her mount they arrived above Holmenkollen.

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Ms. Thursday

 

Odin's Call had been sent and all the champions of Asgard and the Aesir had heard the message.

 

Unfortunately, Astrid Torsten could not be bothered to responded to it as she was presently face down on an old leather sofa that one of her new American friends in Freedom City had allowed her to crash on the previous night. 

 

She was passed out cold. A pretty impressive feat given her Asgardian physiology, but even the blood of the gods had its limits. Almost an entire month's worth of constant parties with friends and follow rockers celebrating the beginning of her senior year at Claremont had turned out to be one of those limits. 

 

Not that Odin would care about.

 

Astrid still heard the call reverberating in her tired skull, but her response to it though wasn't exactly an eager leaping into action. "Drit og dra," she groaned, grabbing at nearby pillow and wrapping it around her ears to block out the Call. It didn't work. 

 

"Rævhål," Realizing that she couldn't win, the demigoddess got up and went to looking for Porrklubba, the weapon having been left unattended in the basement she was currently in. Leaving an all-powerful Aesir superweapon laying about like that may not have been the most cleverest decisions Astrid had ever made, but given the weapon's enhancement that made it so that only she could lift the weapon she figured it would be no real problem. 

 

Fortunately, she was right about that, and she quickly found it deep within the leathery depths of the  sofa she had just been crashing on. With a sigh on her lips, Astrid held the warclub up high and muttered ancient Norse words of power that called forth the glittering energies of the Bifrost. In a flash of rainbow light she was gone from the basement and atop the Holmenkollen with the two waiting ravens.

 

"Alright, alright. What the Hel do guys want form me this time?"

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Holger Danske

 

For the others, the journey had been instant. They had magic, they had divine blood.

 

All Holger had to help him with the journey was a squirrel.

 

"You gotta hurry or you'll be late. I'm sure everyone else is already there, right? Right? C'mon, Holger, I got you this far, you gotta do the rest yourself."

 

Holger scowled briefly at the red squirrel with the bushy tail that was sitting on his right shoulder. Why him? He had never had anything to do with the gods and their battles before. He wasn't exactly a mortla man, but he was not a god either. Why did they want him there? And why had they sent Ratatoskr to call for him?

 

He climbed Holmenkollen with a mighty leap, finally climbing the last distance. 

 

Of course, Holger was not alone. Above, a warrior on a winged horse. Before him, a young warrior with a large club, and, of course, two ravens. He heard the young warrior ask her question. He simply crossed his arms, waiting for the response.

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Down the slope from the assembled group, the air crackled for a moment and suddenly split asunder. The edges of the crack in the air were muted rainbow light, like a dimmed Bifrost. Broken splinters of wood and tufts of shredded feathers fluttered down for a second, before boots thudded down onto the slope and the hole closed with the sound of cracking ice.

 

The woman walked up the slope, seemingly unconcerned about the assembly of oddballs and animals before her. She wore a strange mix of modern tactical gear and visibly Asgardian battle garb, carbide strike plates and clawed gauntlets, cloak of a synthetic blend and boots of doe leather and scalemail. An axe and quiver hung from her belt, and she held a bow in one hand. From beneath her hood and mask, two piercingly blue eyes glared up at the group. "And here I thought I was the only one foolish enough to answer the call of he who sits 'pon his throne toying with his spear," laughed Arrowhawk in English, before her eyes flicked over the two ravens. "<I see he has sent his pheasants. Ignorance. Amnesia,>" she greeted them in old Norse, not laughter in her words or eyes even as her lips still grinned.

Edited by Ecalsneerg
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Thrude

 

The All-Father's reach extended even beyond the bounds of the Solar system. His wayward granddaughter received his summons while in orbit around Antaria, shortly after having rescued a Lor freighter which had been incapacitated after colliding with a quantum filament. Upon first returning to Midgard, Thrude had sworn a vow to protect humanity, and as soon as she had learned of their Lor cousins living among the stars she expanded that vow to encompass them as well. Once the Antarians had the evacuation of the ship under control, she followed the raven through the vacuum of space back to Earth.

 

The princess was the last to arrive at the gathering atop the Norwegian ski slope. The others heard her before they saw her. Thunder echoed across the sky in a steady drumbeat. A familiar glowing rainbow pierced the clouds overhead, a giant ribbon of light in every color of the spectrum resting upon a bed of white mist as descended. Upon this moving bridge of light stomped a half-visible horse molded from the stuff of clouds, with lightning for eyes, each beat of its hooves issuing another thunderclap. Upon this steed rode a tall, pale woman clad in leathers and linens dyed the colors of the Sun and the sky. Long golden braids whipped around her as she rode through the air, clutching an ebony-hafted battle axe as large as her. A few meters above the apex of the slope, the horse and the bridge vanished. She landed on her feet, wreathed from head to toe in strands of electricity. Once she landed the assembled champions could see that one of her eyes was covered with a leather patch, with scarring poking out from under it in all directions. Sanngridr recognized her former fellow Valkyrie immediately, as though it had only been a day since they had last seen each other instead of a millennium. None of the others had frequented Asgard during her time, but anyone who had ever laid eyes upon one or both of her parents could instantly see the resemblance, particularly in the hair that no mortal by birth or dye could ever have mimicked properly.

 

She nodded to Sanngridr directly, and her gaze lingered for a few moments upon the red-haired youth. Then she gave a vague salute to the entire group, and yelled to them in the modern English tongue, a habit she had picked up over the last few years whenever she was on Earth. "Hail and well met, warriors! As ye knowest, I am Thrude! Daughter of Storms! Princess of Asgard! The blood of Thor Thunder-King and Sif Harvest-Queen flows through these mighty veins! Mine is the blood of the All-Father himself, and Jord of the Jotnar, she of the very ground upon which ye stand! It is rare for Grandfather to travel with an entourage, so I must assume he hath sent ye to ferry me back to Valhalla! I see my protests hath fallen once more upon deaf ears! It is not for him to deny the oaths I hath sworn, nor hath he the power, not with honeyed words or with the force of an army at his back! Midgard and its denizens are under my protection, and I shan't abandon them, no matter how great our family's shame! I shall indulge him the brief respites he desires, but I shan't call Asgard home again until the stain of our family's dishonor hath been wiped clean from mortal memory!" She dropped to a crouch and hefted her massive axe with both hands, glaring at each of them in turn with one blazing blue eye. "Lay on, if ye dare! But think ye not that I shall show mercy merely because ye do my grandfather's bidding! Each of thee chooses thy own fate this day, whether 'tis to face Odin's wrath, or mine! Choose wisely!"

 

Edited by Amelia
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VALKYRJA

Valkyrja bought her flying horse gently to the grounds around the time Thrude arrive in her normally flashy style. She was disappointed for a moment that the other Asgardian didn’t recognize her until remembering that much had changed during her

Valkyrja sefur.

 

YOU WERE ALWAYS VERBOSE EVEN WHEN YOU RODE WITH OUR SISTER!” as she spoke she strolled confidently towards Thrude

 

MUCH HAS CHANGED SINCE LAST WE MET INCLUDING MY VISAGE, A TALE FOR A LATER TIME PERHAPS, BUT I HOPE YOU HAVE NOT FORGOT YOUR FELLOW VALKYRIE SANNGRDR? she grinned and offer her fellow a hug

 

Whilst the two elder Asgardians reconnected Frárvængr picked up a familiar scent from long ago and trotted on her six hooves to the only apparent man of this group. She gently nudged the man before speaking in a slightly accented English

 

Have me meet before? Something about your scent seems familiar?”

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Astrid turned her ailing head to whoever thought it would be a great idea to start screaming. Despite the fact that the yelling wasn't exactly helping her pounding headache, the teen did notice something oddly familiar about the newcomer. Of course, it was only when she actually started to listen to what she was saying that she realized that her tired eyes was almost definitely staring at family. 

 

"Hellig dritt," she swore aloud, not caring a bit that the increasing number of arrivals could probably understood what she just said unlike most of her American friends and schoomates. 

 

At that moment, Astrid felt strangely under-dressed. She had rainbow-bridged all the way here with the clothes she had worn the previous night: a studded black leather jacket that had seen better days, torn black jeans and a Darkthrone band shirt underneath the jacket. It was her trademark look, but it was hardly 'meet new family members' attire. Then again, Astrid wasn't exactly one for formality, especially when it came to overly traditional Aesir customs and acceptable modes of dress. In the end, the teen figured that Thrude would be an ass like most of the other stuffy Asgardians she'd meet in Asgard or actually cool like Sanngriðr. Either way it was best to know that know rather than later.

 

With that blithe disregard in mind, the demigoddess forgot about Odin's ravens and walked right up to her might-be-sister with a plastered grin on her face and started speaking to her in accented English. "Yo! Thrude, ja? Heard about you. Sort of. Heard rumors about at least. Oh, and I heard about you through the myths. Alvíssmál, right? Though I guess you can't really call them myths when Asgard is totally real, ja? Whatever. Not important. Point is I know who you are. Or at least I think I do?" Astrid rubbed her face as if doing so would make her feel less stupid. "Screw it, I'm wasting time here. Look, you say your Thrude and the daughter of Thor, god of thunder and deadbeat dads, right? Well, if that's true than that means I'm your sister by half."  

 

Not really knowing what to really say or do know, the teen decided to go for levity and introduce herself to her sister with false pomp and a bow. "Astrid Torsten, bastard daughter of Thor and some mortal, at your service."

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Holger Danske

 

"No, I don't think so. I think I would remember a valkyrie's winged horse." Holger's voice was deep, slightly accented. "Maybe you collected the fallen from a past battlefield?"

 

A little red ball squirmed up and around Holger's body, until it reached his shoulder, where it jumped in excitement. "Ah, Frárvængr, it is so good to see you again! Yes, yes, it has been much too long! How are you doing, how's the family, how's the the rider? Its been ages! Any news, any good gossip?" Ratatoskr was a flurry of motion and excitement. The voice was high pitched, happy and so excited.

 

Holger rolled his eyes, reaching up for the excited squirrel on his shoulder and setting him down on the ground in front of the horse. Turning away from it, he instead turned to the gods. Of course they were all gods. He approached, his hands held out to the sides, his voice friendly and jovial.

 

"I remember when Aesir would travel in secret! Now here you all are, riding on rainbows and lightning! You make an old warrior feel inadequate!" There was a laughter in his deep voice. He beat a fist against his armored chest.

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GM

 

The ravens remained motionless at the displays of might and power and rainbows all around them. They seemed like they had seen it all before, and if anything, they were slightly bored by the effect. One of them, perhaps it was Huginn, or maybe Muginn, let out a shrill laugh at Osla's taunt. "Oh, is that how it is? Would you rather meet with your good friend Loki, child?" 

 

The other, perhaps it was Muginn, or maybe Huginn, flapped its wings heavily, bringing it off the ground, flying and landing heavily on Astrid's shoulder. "Daughters of lightning, half-breeds and warriors of ages past. Yes, yes, you will do, all of you. Now, now, to arms, to arms, the hour is nigh, the All-Father commands your aid!" It let out a shrill laugh, a loud "caw!" before moving to Thrude's shoulder next. 

 

The first of the ravens spoke again. "Evil threatens Midgard. The wolf will howl, bite and tear! Giants stalk the mountains once more! The wall between the worlds grow thin!"

 

Huginn, or perhaps it was Muginn, grew silent for but a moment.

 

"The serpent stirs."

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Arrowhawk took a step forward, rolling her shoulders casually, ignoring those surrounding her. She didn't much care for forgotten gods and slumbering heroes and valkyries. The squirrel she did remember, though. "Don't needle me, poultry. If Odin yet does not understand why I'd be driven to Loki over him, perhaps I could rip out his other eye and hang him from another tree." She glared at the bird's beady black eyes, jaw clenched hard, looming over it. Bending a little to meet its gaze, she briefly resembled a great bird herself, great wing-like cape draped over her, eyes glaring out from her dark cowl.

 

Upon the revelation of the serpent's activities, she backed away a couple of steps from looming over the avian, and turned to gesture at Thrude with one hand. "And why do you require us? The serpent? Surely this is a labour for her father!" A bitter laugh rang out from her. "Has Odin seen fit to return his hammer to him yet?"

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Frárvængr

The massive horse lowered her head to the level of Ratatoskr giving the magical squirrel a gentle friendly nudge.

 

I thought I recognised you scent. Its imprinted on my memory from when I was a foal. I’m sure you remember when my Grandmare bet that I could take a message to that stuffy Veðrfölnir. I was so keen but even with the power of Bifrost I could never beat you to the top of Yggdrasil.”

 

Frárvængr raised her neck up looking especially proud of herself, before lowering herself back down to squirrel height.

 

I are now a great-grandmare of a herd of winged horses where no human or Asgardian has ever set foot.” she sounded very pleased with herself for her achievements before saying with a degree of irony “The centuries have been kind to you as well Ratatoskr!”

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Thrude

 

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MUCH HAS CHANGED SINCE LAST WE MET INCLUDING MY VISAGE, A TALE FOR A LATER TIME PERHAPS, BUT I HOPE YOU HAVE NOT FORGOT YOUR FELLOW VALKYRIE SANNGRDR? she grinned and offer her fellow a hug

 

The goddess returned Sanngrdr's embrace. "I thought thou look'd familiar! Well met indeed." She pulled away and gave her fellow Valkyrie a quizzical look. "Then thou art NOT here to drag me back to the All-Father's hall?"

 

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"Yo! Thrude, ja? Heard about you. Sort of. Heard rumors about at least. Oh, and I heard about you through the myths. Alvíssmál, right?"

 

The goddess glanced over to Astrid when she spoke. The moment the word "Alvíss" left her lips, Thrude's face tightened into a glare. Her nostrils flared, her eyes bulged, and her jaw clenched tightly shut. Thunder rumbled in the distance.

 

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"Though I guess you can't really call them myths when Asgard is totally real, ja? Whatever. Not important. Point is I know who you are. Or at least I think I do?" Astrid rubbed her face as if doing so would make her feel less stupid. "Screw it, I'm wasting time here. Look, you say your Thrude and the daughter of Thor, god of thunder and deadbeat dads, right? Well, if that's true than that means I'm your sister by half." Not really knowing what to really say or do know, the teen decided to go for levity and introduce herself to her sister with false pomp and a bow. "Astrid Torsten, bastard daughter of Thor and some mortal, at your service."

 

Thrude's face softened. She clasped Astrid's forearm in a gesture of goodwill and gave her a slight smile. "I had thought thou look'd familiar to my eye as well. Indeed thou has the look of our father, though I worry 'tis a slight against you to say it. Thou art no greater 'bastard' than any of our brood, for it is not Jord who sits upon the throne of Asgard, nor Jarnsaxa who reigns at Thrudvangr. Our father no doubt sired thee during my long imprisonment at the hands of The Deceiver. I regret that we were kept apart for such an age. But 'tis a relief that the redemption of our family is a burden resting not entirely upon mine own shoulders."

 

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"I remember when Aesir would travel in secret! Now here you all are, riding on rainbows and lightning! You make an old warrior feel inadequate!" There was a laughter in Holger's deep voice. He beat a fist against his armored chest.

 

"My grandfather's ways are not mine, Warrior. Shadows and trickery are Old One-Eye's domain. Mine is THE UNFETTERED MIGHT OF THE RAGING STORM!" The goddess hefted her giant axe into the air and a bolt of lightning crashed down onto it from the sky. "LET THE ENEMY KNOW THAT THRUDE COMES FOR THEM! LET THEM QUIVER AND WEEP AND SOIL THEMSELVES AT THE SOUND OF THUNDER! FOR AS IT GROWS EVER CLOSER, SO DOTH THEIR DOOM!"

 

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"Evil threatens Midgard. The wolf will howl, bite and tear! Giants stalk the mountains once more! The wall between the worlds grow thin! The serpent stirs."

 

Thrude's eyes widened at the raven's words and a grin overtook her features. "Then there is no time to lose! Thou need only point the way to these beasts, and I shall unleash the fury of the storm upon them!"

 

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"Don't needle me, poultry. If Odin yet does not understand why I'd be driven to Loki over him, perhaps I could rip out his other eye and hang him from another tree."

 

Upon the revelation of the serpent's activities, she backed away a couple of steps from looming over the avian, and turned to gesture at Thrude with one hand. "And why do you require us? The serpent? Surely this is a labour for her father!" A bitter laugh rang out from her. "Has Odin seen fit to return his hammer to him yet?"

 

 

Thrude's face contorted into a grimace of rage at the several mentions of Loki's name. "Hast thou forgotten so soon the misery and devastation left in my father's wake the last time he walked the face of Midgard?! I'll not have him defile this land by touching his boots to it! I'll run him through and cast him out myself if it comes to it! Nay, if this realm needs defending then I will see to it! Only a servant of The Deceiver would be charged with such a sacred duty only to pout and whine like a sullen child given a chore on a summer's day!" She turned to the ravens and pointed accusingly at Osla. "Why even bother summoning this coward?! When since making his blood-pact with us has Loki ever honored it?!" She turned back to Osla. "Do not think that because my grandfather insists on indulging thy master that I shall let thy taunts go unanswered! If thou mindeth not thy tongue, I shan't hesitate before tearing it out of your skull myself! And if thou doth betray us as so often your master hath, know thee that I shall personally gut thee from nape to neck and strangle the last of thy breath from thy throat with thine own entrails!"

 

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Arrowhawk tilted her head to one side, a slow smile appearing on her face. She took a slow deliberate step towards Thrude, creaking emanating from her bow where she gripped it hard enough to squeeze the wood. "Oh, I've no quarrel with coming to Midgard to fight monsters. The real quarrel was when your grandfather wouldn't treat with me and I ran out of the easy choices royalty are afforded. You see, a beast needed slain. And someone had to summon my father, who fulfilled his duty."

 

She slowly cocked her head the other direction, like a raptor eyeing a particularly tasty mouse. "I am no child to assign chores to. Yes, I am in debt to the Liar. And I am heir to Mjolnir's last wielder, I am the inheritor of my father's vigil, and I damn sure will not tolerate any Midgardian suffering at the hands of anything crawling down the Ygdrassil into this realm. And I do it because it is my vigil. Not because your family abdicated theirs long ago. Issue commands and threats to your own servants, Princess. But don't ever make the mistake of confusing me for one of them." One pale finger rapped at the pale hawk upon her breast, rapping against the dense armour. "I am the Arrowhawk. Or one of them, at least. It must be pleasant for you, to always walk in light. But the Arrowhawk bears the darkness, stands fast in it. Until dawn breaks." She took one step closer, unnaturally blue eyes fixing on Thrude's remaining one. 

 

Her voice dropped to a murmur, almost a casual whisper between friends in the dark. Almost. "Threaten me again."

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On 9/22/2020 at 5:30 PM, Amelia said:

Thrude's face softened. She clasped Astrid's forearm in a gesture of goodwill and gave her a slight smile. "I had thought thou look'd familiar to my eye as well. Indeed thou has the look of our father, though I worry 'tis a slight against you to say it. Thou art no greater 'bastard' than any of our brood, for it is not Jord who sits upon the throne of Asgard, nor Jarnsaxa who reigns at Thrudvangr. Our father no doubt sired thee during my long imprisonment at the hands of The Deceiver. I regret that we were kept apart for such an age. But 'tis a relief that the redemption of our family is a burden resting not entirely upon mine own shoulders."

 

 

Astrid wasn't one for touchy-feely nonsense, but she had to admit that finally being acknowledged by one of her divine family members wasn't the worst thing in the world. Still, the whole thing was rather awkward for her and the demigoddess had to suppress a blush. "Yeah, well, my mom wasn't a giant or a goddess so I think the bastard brand still applies to me, but thanks for the pick me up... sis." 

 

The teen likely would have opened up a little bit more (as well as asked a ton of questions) if not for the fact that her sister was suddenly accosted by some rando with a beef with Odin and their dad. 

 

22 hours ago, Ecalsneerg said:

Arrowhawk tilted her head to one side, a slow smile appearing on her face. She took a slow deliberate step towards Thrude, creaking emanating from her bow where she gripped it hard enough to squeeze the wood. "Oh, I've no quarrel with coming to Midgard to fight monsters. The real quarrel was when your grandfather wouldn't treat with me and I ran out of the easy choices royalty are afforded. You see, a beast needed slain. And someone had to summon my father, who fulfilled his duty."

 

She slowly cocked her head the other direction, like a raptor eyeing a particularly tasty mouse. "I am no child to assign chores to. Yes, I am in debt to the Liar. And I am heir to Mjolnir's last wielder, I am the inheritor of my father's vigil, and I damn sure will not tolerate any Midgardian suffering at the hands of anything crawling down the Ygdrassil into this realm. And I do it because it is my vigil. Not because your family abdicated theirs long ago. Issue commands and threats to your own servants, Princess. But don't ever make the mistake of confusing me for one of them." One pale finger rapped at the pale hawk upon her breast, rapping against the dense armour. "I am the Arrowhawk. Or one of them, at least. It must be pleasant for you, to always walk in light. But the Arrowhawk bears the darkness, stands fast in it. Until dawn breaks." She took one step closer, unnaturally blue eyes fixing on Thrude's remaining one. 

 

Her voice dropped to a murmur, almost a casual whisper between friends in the dark. Almost. "Threaten me again."

"Oh you don't have to worry about her threatening you again because I sure as Hel will." She placed herself between the two women and stared daggers at Osla, not caring in the least that Thrude looked more than capable of dealing with the archer herself. It was the sisterly principle of the thing, after all. Moreover, Astrid was still mildly buzzed, which meant her already lackluster decision-making skills weren't exactly back in top form. 

 

"I don't know who the Hel you are but you best step off right now from my sister before I stick my club right up your bony arse!" 

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VALKYJA

Sanngriðr watched events unfold with some interest, among mere mortals she’d would have been concerned that things were getting serious, but they were all Asgardians and there blood ran hotter than most.

 

THIS IS MOST COMFORTING, I WAS WORRIED THAT THE YOUNGSTERS DID NOT HAVE THE PASSION WE HAD HEN WE WERE SO YOUNG. I REMEMBER SO MANY ARGUMENTS AMONG THE VALKYRIES, IT WAS LIKE ONE OF THOSE REALITY SHOW THAT THE MORTALS LIKE TO WATCH.

 

She smiled briefly but then her face went more serious, she was also an Asgardian even if she wasn’t a demi-god like the others.

 

WHILST NORMALLY I WOULD ENJOY A GOOD BRAWL, AND IF YOU WISH TO TRY ME YOU WILL FIND OUT HOW I EARNED MY NAME. I CARE NOT OF THE MACHINATIONS OF LORD ODIN BUT I DO CARE ABOUT MIDGARD* LET US DEAL WITH THIS FOUL SERPENT AND THEN WE CAN RETURN TO SUCH POSTURING.

 

*Earth

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