Carpet Quest
Roleplaying Log: Carpet Quest
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Nico and Thor meet to discuss a stolen carpet.

Other Characters Referenced: Atli, Doctor Strange, Loki, Sloane Albright, Namora, Red Robin, Raven, Zatanna, Spider-Man
IC Date: April 04, 2019
IC Location: Peggy's Rooftop
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 05 Apr 2019 03:24
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

EXTERIOR — Penthouse Rooftop — Manhattan

Mid-day. Clear and sixy-degrees. An FM radio plays unoffensive pop-music for the three (four?) occupants of the rooftop.

Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder; the goat lords. Easily recognizable from a distance, each of the royal steeds of Asgard is nearly the size of a grizzly bear with long bendy horns that seem to convey a certain over-stated sense of wily self-importance. They graze upon piles of recycled goods under a portable hard-top gazebo which serves as makeshift shelter.

Thor Odinson; the God of Thunder. Perhaps less recognizable than the goats from a distance, the heir to the immortal realm wears a pair of tight leather pants capris and nothing else. He toils before rows of clay pots which have been arranged in a planter at the edge of the roof. Reaching outward from each pot is a long willowy shaft sporting tiny fronts bearing six-leaved clusters. The god of thunder bears a pair of simple hand-shears which he uses to clip the tiny buds from the plants dropping them into a small plastic trashcan bear his feet.

Several Adirondack lounge chairs encircle a fire-pit which — very much contrary to codes — has been built upon the roof. There is no fire at the moment though a large mallet rests upon one of the chairs its posture fixed so that the head of it leans against the back of the seat. The plastic sunglasses it had been trying to wear were ill fitting and have fallen around its grip.

* * *

NICO MINORU has a problem.

Actually she has like fourteen problems.

The big one involves SVARTALFHEIM. Nico has access to Google as well as a tip from the Sorceror Supreme, who is, in her understanding, kind of a big deal. A tapestry of a mighty flaming bird was stolen and the damnedest thing is that it was slippery through the eye of the mind, but caught, perhaps, on the silent geometries of the Staff of One.

Anyway, Svartalfheim. Nico made phone calls to the Asgardian embassy of great renown and even greater T-shirt shop, and was told that audience could be made.

She jingles her way up to the penthouse roof. She takes the access stairs. Nico emerges wearing a dark gown that goes down to her ankles and a small decorative hat which is immediately and conclusively caught by the wind and whipped off into the New York City state of mind, though she has greater matters on her mind, such as —

THE GOATS!

To whom she curtsies. "Hi," she says to them. "I'm with Atli. Well, not, with Atli, but, we met, okay guys?"

And then past the goats.

Nico had her hair combed and freshly dyed and had put on new polished silver jewels in every hole in her face that could hold one. Her dress was new and made custom for this day, with the usual core black decorated with panels of white and blue that simultaneously did 'something kind of dirndl' (actual note from the design sketch) as well as 'made it less cold'.

When she sees the God of Thunder clipping leaflets while wearing leather pants, Nico wonders: Will I ever not be overdressed for a moment like this?

She sinks to one knee and dips her head with a jangle of garnets on her ears. "O Thunderer," she says with formality, "I have come. Thank you for this audience."

The wind turns around and lands her tiny fascinator hat on one of the goat's horns. Which one? That's for them to fight over.

* * *

Nico enters to the lyrics of Ariana Grande's "seven rings" which blares courtesy of the radio.

The goats notice the new entrance. One head rises from the pile of recycling and absently chews as approached. The other does the same thing a few seconds later their slit-pupiled eyes blinking as she greets them. At the word 'Atli' a goat shakes its head, bleating a shriek of goat-noise, long bendy horns knocking into the horns of its brother before it begins to eat once more. The other, perturbed by the assault, exhales roughly and stamps its foot but continues to chew. Watching as Nico move away.

Thor clips his medicinal herbs. Clip. Clip.

'O Thunderer..'

At the words the muscles of his shoulders tighten into corded bands and he turns slowly around. His blue eyes take in the kneeling woman with a bejeweled face and dirndl dress. There's a beast of assessment where you can feel the wheels of his mind ingesting what is before him and then — all of the sudden — his eyes widen and his face splits with a wide grin, "Nico of Malibu!" He exclaims thrusting the sheers down the front of his pants, point down, so the green plastic handles grate against his rigid stomach.

"What brings thee here?" Clapping his hands together he seems to be about to stay something else but only then realizes that she's kneeling, "Ahh.." he seems momentarily at a loss over the formality but the hesitation is short-lived because his grin only widen, and he offers his hand. A hand covered in potting soil.

"I am /truly happy/ for the company," he admits blue-eyes briefly straying to the area around her as he surreptitiously searched for more of the hipster-cider she had brought him at Christmas but seeing none says, "Would you like a drink?" And gestures broadly to a small wood keg that rests upon a plastic picnic table.

* * *

Nico hears the music.

Please don't play Fast Car, she thinks. Not Fast Car. If they play Fast Car I'm going to sob in front of the God of Thunder. That would be really embarrassing. At least I could jump off the side of -

And then Thor rises. Nico's eyes do too. She straightens up and she smiles although there is a moment where the rising smile turns into a momentary grimace when he jams the shears down the front of his pants, but, she tells herself, he knows what he's doing. She rises upwards but gradually.

"Oh, yeah, absolutely," Nico says then, tension deflating from her. The wind tugs at her hair again as she looks towards… the plastic picnic table. "This place is gorgeous," she then says, which is not even exaggerated. (Her eyes turn to the firepit momentarily, before she opts not to be a frigging narc or a nag about what Thor does with his building top.)

"Ah," she says, clasping her hands together, fingers lacing. "So," she continues, "I don't know if you heard, but, this was a couple of weeks ago. Some people from Svartalfheim," which Nico takes great pains to enunciate clearly, "attacked the Met, like, the art museum, the one over —"

Nico orients herself, raises a hand, and points towards Central Park.

"There? There was this huge stupid registration protest so it didn't make the news but they stormed in with something they called the Black Bifrost."

* * *

Walking to the plastic table he pauses in his journey at the compliment and gives gesture to the grandeur of the rooftop with genuine pride, "Tis a place to gaze upon the stars and contemplate this realm," he says despite the plastic furniture and strewn recycling, "My garden is to honor my mother for it is with her gifts that I grow medicinal herbs to heal the eyes and temperament of my allies."

He starts towards the picnic table again bare feet slapping upon the roof-slabs. There are several steins upon the table. The first he selects was right-side up and he turns it over pouring out a fluid that could be stagnant water, perhaps it is alcohol, perhaps a bit of both, and sniffs it once shrugging and setting it atop the keg. The next he selects is upside down and so when he picks it up he gives it a shake, which produces no vile substance, before filling it from the tiny barrel with an amber fluid. He hands this mug to Nico.

Taking the other mug for himself he begins to fill it but stops abruptly at the word 'Svartalfheim' and his temperament seems to darken.

"I had not heard," he says and takes a heavy sip from the half-full mug, peering over it as she gestures towards 'the Met' and removes the mug from his face to squint harder that direction. It's not clear he's sure what she's talking about.

Hrm. It's a deep thoughtful sound that Thor makes repeating the term distaste, "Black Bifrost, 'tis a perverse dark elf magic. It would be risking peril to use it to come to Midgard," and then he gives Nico a heavy look, "What did the elves seek and did you vanquish them?" His eyes go to towards the reclining Mjolnir and then back to Nico.

* * *

"Your mother was a gardener?" Nico asks, without thinking.

Her internal monologue is two things in stereo.

One, the Millennial-voice, says: IDIOT, GOD, UGH, WHY DO YOU EVEN SPEAK EVER
The other, the wonder-voice, says: I never thought about Thor having a mom, but he has to have, right? I was confusing him with Athena.

The thunder god offers her a drink. Nico takes it with both hands. "Thank you," she says, before raising it to her mouth and taking a deep swig of it.

Her eyes widen. Her face begins to do something peculiar - underneath the fairly thick makeup she put on, her skin is starting to flush. GDI, Nico thinks, and yes: she thinks in the acronym.

"Perverse?" she says. Then she takes in a deep breath and looks back towards the direction of the Met.

"So," she says, "I didn't, but here's the story in short. These people, dark elves, I guess, came in with some bird-like men— I have sketches, I can get them out for you, but they also had some kind named Eichor in charge of them… with them, anyway. So, six total. They were after, I thought, some kind of a jewel, but in actual fact it was this… tapestry."

Nico looks at the mug. "It had some kind of enchantment on it. I got confused about it, but the Staff of One didn't, and I was able to track it a little ways. Kind of. They got back through the Bifrost, and I think they made it back to Svartalfheim, before one of they saw the spell and… broke it."

She takes another sip. Finally, she looks back at Thor. "I couldn't beat them," she says, "but I was the only one who got hurt. There was uh, I don't know if you know her but she's kind of famous I guess, Agent Albright from SHIELD?" At this Nico turns her head a little towards the general direction of the Triskelion, or lack thereof, and sucks on her teeth. "Also some Atlantean lady, Aquaria or Namora or something."

"Doctor Strange said we probably shouldn't just go climbing into Svartalfheim to try to get this thing back right away," Nico says, "but I don't know if that was 'it would be bad' or if it was 'it would be incredibly bad.'" A beat, then, "Um. Sorry if I'm speaking… informally. This is really good."

She finishes off the mug.

"… Do you mind if I sit down?" she says, before doing so before she falls over.

* * *

Thor chortles at the question perhaps believing that her faux pas was a more direct attempt at humor, "Hrm. I suppose, in a way," he swirls the mug of mead, "My mother is Gaea; Perhaps you would know her … Mother Earth." He gives a lopsided smile at his own humble-brag.

He drinks again and slams the mug atop the barrel, listening.

"So," Thor squints at Nico and begins to summarize, "You are saying that that dark elves and bird-people used the black magic my brother gave them to corrupt the Bifrost to travel to..," he holds out one finger and taps the tip of it with his other hand, "a museum," he looks up and towards central park here and then extends a second finger, tapping it, "to steal a magic carpet," and a third finger, "which was guarded by the Scion of Boston and her fish-allies /and/," he gives Nicro a hard glare, "now they have returned to Svartalfheim to no doubt brag to their kin about how they have stolen a tapestry from the realm I have sworn to protect?"

Thor reaches towards the Adirondack chair. Metal sings. The hammer leaps into the air hurling its sunglasses aside and springs into Thor's grip, "I say to thee NAY. Nico of Malibu /we have a rug to reclaim/."

His gaze levels seriously at her then as he asks a very important question, "What say thee?"

* * *

The news that Thor's mom is Gaea makes Nico's eyes widen slightly. Her mental image has to stretch to accommodate that, and between that and the hooch she is not able to stretch too agilely. "Huh," she says, with a thoughtful frown.

Then Thor recaps for her.

Nico takes a deep breath and lets it out.

I should, she think, call Red Robin. I should tell the Titans. I should be sensible here, I should be quiet, I should be peaceful and try to build this up. This could be hideously dangerous. I nearly died and I can't do that same spell again. I should -

I should -

I should pick this up, she tells herself. I should clean up after my own failures.

All of that monologue took about one second, one slow eyeblink. "Totally," she says with a sharp nod afterwards.

Then she laughs. It's a kind of snorting giggle, and afterwards, she says, "I can —" call your friends, Nico, she thinks, so they all DIE? "Change my shoes first, hold on, I didn't think I'd have to like invade Elfland in heels."

She puts down a purse which had previously been concealed in a ruffle. "You want to call anyone?" she addrs, before pausing, mid unlacing of one custom high-heeled Dr. Martenstein monstrosity.
"Tho, your brother - you said your BROTHER gave them this black Bifrost thing?"

* * *

"Totally," Thor repeats in grave affirmation of her willingness to join his party.

'Does he want to call anyone?'

"Yyyees," he draws the word out as if the reasonable portion of his mind had to sprint to catch up with the rest of him. He pulls Mjolnir towards his chest and idly taps it with his finger tips creating a pleasant metallic melody, "A quest should allow those who have failed the chance for redemption."

"The fish-folk who failed to guard the tapestry. The strange doctor who would not aid you," he looks at Nico as she begins to unlace her shoes, "Who else has failed to assist you, Nico of Malibu? Who else is worthy of this quest"

'BROTHER gave them this black Bifrost thing..'

"Yes," Thor affirms with a deep sigh, "I am sure he intended it to be a great prank — to give the elves magic that would allow them to so easily traverse the nine-realms — so that they might surprise me with their mischief. Alas, they torment me still — as you well know — because I have yet to kill all the ones who know of the spell. I am certain that by the end of this quest that number shall be even smaller."

"Do you have family who vex you?" Thor asks her, "Who would rather teach black magic to dark elves than simply accept that it does not matter that their parents left them for dead as a tiny blue baby — because they have new parents who have never once tried to kill them?"

* * *

"Uh hm," Nico says.

She considers.

She has no opinion about Namora, but, she thinks, how hard can it be to find that person?

She thinks further: Sloane looked like the kind of person who needs stress in her life. (Sometimes Nico has more occult awareness than she knows.)

Then she looks upwards. "I don't know about failure," she says, "but, uh - hm. My… allies, some of them, maybe. Raven or Zatanna. I guess it might be a little out of town for Spider-Man, but he's pretty strong." She blinks again slowly as the mead continues to percolate through her.

I'm doing this, she thinks. I'm going to go on some kind of cosmic adventure with the God of Thunder. Was it always this easy? Was I just a giant idiot? She takes a deep breath and lets it out, before her lips pull back a little. Killing them, she thinks. "… If you get them all together," she says, "I can like… make them forget, but, you have to get ALL of them together," Nico says, before Thor raises the question of family.

"My parents were evil blood wizards," Nico offers, "so I totally can feel that? I never really knew any of my extended family and I'm an only child so this is kind of approximate but I remember in like, school they said that blended families have a lot of challenges."

She looks at her boot. Oh right, she thinks, I don't have to put on flats RIGHT THIS MOMENT.

"Though," she says, "do you know that guy I mentioned? He was named Eichor, Eichor the Encore. I might be like, getting that a little wrong, but he said it a couple of times. He also SHOT ME IN THE ING SIDE," Nico half-shouts.

She stops dead.

"Sorry," she says.

("Do you mind swears? Like, in general?")

* * *

The metallic thumping of fingers atop hammer continues as Nico lists allies but stops abruptly at her plan and then he has an idea, "What if we bring just their heads together?" He asks her eyes widening with a momentarily crazed emphasis, "Without legs they could not escape thy ritual."

Which might bring the question: Can elves live without their heads?

"You have a Raven to ferry messages to your allies about the realm? Excellent! Then our party shall be swiftly assembled."

'My parents were blood wizards …'

Thor's grip upon the haft of his hammer tightens and he swings it away from his chest stepping forward. A hand reaches to squeeze her shoulder with his soil covered fingers, "I understand," he says deeply and then tries to bolster her morale, "I am certain when they see you casting spells over the severed heads of our enemies they will be /so proud of you/."

"Eichor.." He repeats the name but is equally uncertain, "The Encore? Nay, I do not know this one. Perhaps the strange doctor will know him."

The foul language doesn't seem to phase the god of thunder who simply surveys her for a moment and then nods, "You need not apologize." He says, "Let us gather our allies, Nico of Malibu. Send me your Raven when your forces are prepared."

* * *

"… You know, I'm gonna just like, defer to you on the whole, elf handling thing," Nico says, with another of those clumsy laughs. Then, she half says, "She's -"

Thor continues.

Thor puts his mighty hand on her shoulder. Beneath the dress Nico is somewhat more meaty than might be expected, and not in a slobby way. Brutal campaigns of physical fitness have paid some dividends, but she remains… thin. She smiles a little. "Probably…?"

I should tell him, Nico thinks.

But I can't, she thinks further.

Like, Gert would, Nico continues on as Thor considers Eichor's name. (All of this internal.) But Gert wouldn't have come here in the first place. Gert would be acting up and yelling at him over, like, Hamlet or something. Wasn't Hamlet Norse? Maybe he knew Hamlet. IDK. "Got it," she says, with a thumbs up. "Uh, just call the embassy?"

Who runs the phones there, anyway? Nico is unsure.

"And," she concludes, "thank you, for - I mean - I'll tell you about it later," she continues, as she rises to her feet and smiles again at Thor, now with her eyes, not just her mouth. "When we uh, when we got back the firebird tapestry!"

"Here's the sketches," Nico adds, proffering photocopies of fashion-designer doodles of what appears to be everyone involved. A note is added at the bottom: they put this on, i didnt make this up

There are indeed dark elves… and Eichor, the blue man… and also men of a peculiarly avian cast. Of a certain ornithological character.

Had he not heard? Nay; perhaps all the nine realms (or is it ten?) will soon have… heard.

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