Setting: Niflheim's halls at midnight
Content: Potentially NSFW if it turns into a thread? There's implications and it could get worse.
Summary: For the past few nights, every night, one woman wanders the poorly lit halls of the blackened castle of the deep.
Status: In progress. Or a drabble.
Slithering. Coiling. Tightening around her so much that sometimes she had to strain for the next breath of air. Success brought the sensation lessening around her chest for a time. Her fingers trailed over the thick detailed wood paneling along the walls with every slow step. Her socks slid featherlight across the polished wooden floor and were almost soundless against the rugs she traversed. A lavender ghost that tread from floor to floor without a clear goal to any who might have observed the young woman in her long white nightgown that fell to her ankles.
Sometimes her eyes rose past the floor to stare out a window. Sometimes they closed while she stood in place, breathing heavily until it evened enough to continue on.
A lost woman. A pathetic haunt.
Setting: Asgard Hallways.
Content: Perhaps NSFW later.
Summary: Levi Ackerman considers his role and turns to an unlikely source for input.
Status: In progress.
Erwin's lectures buzzed like the most insufferable insect trill possible within Levi's head. Ensuring that Asgard's hallways shone as immaculate as his haircut through berating and personal corner-scrubs failed to stifle them, which irritated him further. The scout captain had been in a quiet mood, which while not a good mood qualified within the spectrum of decent. Speaking of varying levels of decency, his subordinate had twice not launched into a frothing rage from someone showing debatable cowardice. The cleaning proceeded...adequately. Not well enough. Unity and fighting shape added up to three things they had yet to arrive at to his liking.
The issues outnumbered the chairs at the table. The spiky-haired bookworm had an anger problem to rival Jaeger's, and stupid power that eclipsed it. Most of the persona-users operated in cells that self-governed. The administrative figures didn't mesh well or have a solid hold. Demons and religiosity. Civilians with disparate levels of uselessness. Kanji Tatsumi. Solidarity began to trickle through, served by the casualties, but the retraction of that left things...odd. Vacuous. Unstable.
Asgard needed a leader, and it disturbed the scout captain to consider himself the probable option.
Without explanation, he'd manhandled Eren away from the hallways of cleanser and detergent, taking him to the side. Personally, Levi needed a confidant, advice, or something to fuck. Maybe all three.
After arriving at a somewhat out of the way conference hall stacked with empty chairs and blank chalkboards, he'd sat the black-haired teen on one of the tables and stared his stupid confused face down. It looked better when not contorted in rage, he supposed.
"Jaeger. What do you think of what's going on?" The scout captain asked, curtly.
Setting: Niflheim's Main Hall
Content: Worksafe, but with a warning: flashing imagery.
Summary: Satanick makes his presence known the only way he knows how. With music and a bang.
Status: In progress.
Some may not have known that the Main Hall had one or more lightswitches. Some people were unobservant fools who ignored the simple joys in life.
( Click to witness the simple joys )
Setting: Niflheim Entry Hall
Summary: Someone isn't happy with the limitations...
Status: In Progress
White Mary-Janes paced the length of the hall. An angry staccato beat echoed with each footstep. Although knowing her little bout of temper was going to ruin her favorite pair of shoes, Catherine still stopped and scuffed the toe of the right against the floor. Upon her arrival, Catherine had wanted to file a complaint right away.
Sure, she had wanted out from underneath her and Vincent's little love nest for quite some time now. Just a small outing. Some fresh air, a new man to attract or someone's day to throw out of whack. Was that really too much to ask for?
Instead, she was now locked in a battle against 'God', with a capital 'G' so she knew it wasn't Aphrodite screwing with her again; and a lord of an Underworld. Parallel worlds, timelines and multiple choice religions were not uncommon, but goddamnit if she didn't want to take part in their little capture the flag tournament. Or whatever passed for apocalyptic dick waving nowadays.
Now it wouldn't have been so bad if dear old Luci had invited and made her an equal partner. Instead, Catherine had a distinctive bad-taste in her mouth at the implication that she was just one solider among many.
"Ugh! Why did he nerf me?! I thought he and my dad were friends!"
Or perhaps, she had imagined it?
...probably. The blonde didn't think her father had any friends who were less pathetic than himself.
Still, a little heads up about the power-lock would have been nice.
Setting: Moments after the sun has fully set, a section of Emptiness previously unseen appears.
Summary: Unaware of what he's walking into, a wandering mercenary stumbles across a very particular part of Emptiness: the square in front of a particularly elegant church.
Status: In progress.
The mercenary had generally stuck to exploring places like Emptiness when fewer people would be out and about. Indeed, even the Grey Manor had difficulty catching him anywhere but the back allies or rooftops, as though traversing the open road was a forbidden anomaly permitted to precious few. He specifically entered the shops in the Grey Manor's grounds mere moments after they opened in the early breath of dawn, or minutes into their last moments of closing up the shop.
According to Julius, if anyone had inquired about the man during any of the open dinners in the manor - to which all under his protection were invited to wine and dine - his absence would be explained with 'it'd be difficult to get someone like that in a place so outside of his element.'
Indeed, Nic could be seen knocking on the door of the sole restaurant in Grey Manor's grounds during closing times, buying anything leftover and carrying it to his room to eat everything he'd been given.
Nic avoided, but not out of cowardice. He was not an avoidant man by nature. In a partially buttoned suit that might have seemed reminiscent of mafia or yakuza to those who'd had such things in their worlds, Nic currently wandered the backalley streets of Emptiness as the sun finally set.
Tagged were not allowed to wander on main roads. Lucky, then, that he could defend himself off of the paths. The streetlamps lit tiny pieces of the dark, cobbled paths between and behind buildings. These were less roads less traveled. These were the real life of the city, whenever it had life. It must have had life.
The tags hanging from the chain around his neck clacked against each other as he turned, one of the twisted alleyways opening into someplace...unexpected. It appeared to be an area a main street would lead to, but as open as the square was, all the roads leading into it were back alleys. What?
The light of the sun was entirely gone, leaving the buildings bathed in the silvery blue light of the moon. In the center of the square was a stage for...something, he wasn't sure what, and several yards behind it was a beautiful, clearly very old church with a strange symbol above the rooftop. Not a cross. Huh.
Nic took one step into the square.
The moment he did, the place burst with life - a massive crowd of shadowy figures began to play out their lives, several murmuring things as they passed by. He could partially see their lips as they cupped their cheek so the gossip would only reach their neighbor. He couldn't hear anything, but he guessed from the vibrations in his feet from the movement of so many people at once in such a massive crowd that there was a significant amount of noise to be heard for those who could hear.
People were on the stage, gesturing in red and gold robes.
Right. He'd take a step back into the alleyway and watch this play out.
Setting: Off the Roads leading to Emptiness.
Summary: The Phantom Thieves are at it again. Well, one of them at least. And a new guy. Say hi, new guy.
Status: In progress.
After the meeting's proceedings had slowed to more personal gab sessions, Akira decided to exercise the fullness of his covert skill to duck out politely.
A trunk of wood the width of a Subaru shrilled a furious whistle as it swung over Joker's skull, the branches affectionately ruffling his hair as they passed.
Or maybe impolitely? Akira was scarcely the picturesque apex of high society. Finely dressed, at least.
Smirking, Akira elected to ride the next swing, leaping onto the monstrous limb and using it as a vault to gain more altitude. At the apex of his arc, he winked at the offended monster flailing at his coattails. As the descent began, the trickster tore off his mask, plumes of blue flame emerging along with
"SATANAEL!" The demon lord pointed its titanic firearm at the ground (and the tree-monster-thing) reaching up to catch his master in its gaping bark-maw.
"Ravage them!" Akira yelled at the grasping earth, raining caustic cyan heat down. Swallowed in the belly of the irradiated assault, the beast bleated like a croaking cow, before toppling with a thunderous THUMP that shook the underbrush.
Like a felonious feline, Joker landed on the ground feet-first with nary a sound. Compared to the din of well-done monster, anyways. The latter sound, however, had attracted some ill-tempered guests to this private cremation. Several identical forest-covered beasts stared him down with unamused glares beneath their knotted branch-crowns. Adjusting his mask and dusting some of the twigs off, Akira tried to suppress the manic grin stuck to his face, he really did.
But he missed this.
Setting: A vacant assembling room.
Summary: A man of God and his guns.
Status: In progress.
The Burned Man did not achieve his reputation through idleness. Wasting minimal time, Joshua had made a cursory map of Asgard and its immediate vicinity, secured the location of food and supplies, and set himself to work. Though salvation was oft prayed for, the Burned Man knew one could not expect the almighty to do all the work. After all, in this regard it could be said that the man himself was an instrument of the divine, called by his mouthpiece to do that which his charred hands did best; make war. A strange sensation it was to raise up his arms in service of true righteousness rather than necessity, however. The burned man had no objective love for combat. A task like any other, a grim chore that served its purpose of removing obstacles and clearing the path for what needed to be. The other New Canaanites, his brethren, did not have this revelation. Joshua understood. Peaceful and idealistic, the knowledge they possessed fostered a gentleness shared by few. If only that enlightenment could be spread, perhaps brutality and cruelty would bow to unity and understanding. The precept, bright and enchanting like cascading starlight, sounded like the tones of siren to Joshua himself. Compelling, comforting, but ultimately hollow.
The motions of the bandaged warlord's hands were near-automatic, similar to the fruits of their labors. Slightly tarnished gunmetal stood as a stark contrast to the peerless pearl sheen of the table they sat upon in clean stacks of six. Completing another after a quick inspection of the action he'd just lubricated, Joshua Graham finished the seventh stack of sidearms, spreading them out to ensure proper ventilation. The sun shone brightly through the window he'd left ajar. One thing the Burned Man did find concrete value in was the spreading of wisdom, the core of the New Canaanite's practice. The confluence of mutual intelligence would be how the world proceeds, but there would always be the need of dirtied hands and bootheels. Be it rational or philosophical, Joshua firmly believed in the inherent importance of teaching.
Joshua Graham took a minor respite, awaiting.
Setting: What's left of the craggy rocks bordering Niflheim
Content: Safe For Work
Summary: Ferrum finds devastation due to the frivolous rage of another, and feels rage himself.
Continuation of this thread. Takes place several days later.
Ferrum let the sand of the devastated earth through run between his fingers. Moments earlier, he had been an avian, scouring and enjoying the sights of Morganda, when an unsightly scar in the earth caused him surprise. He had seen these lands, and something was different. Something concerning.
He landed and transformed into a human, surveying the wreckage, some form of event happening that was not natural. This area was not rife with life, but every place on Morganda was not completely abandoned, save for one.
Ferrum, using his magic, politely requested the earth lend him it's memory, so he could see the event. Before him Ferrum he saw a short man with enormous hair contort his face in anger as he blasted the desert. He flew through the air with much speed and purpose, but his concentration was elsewhere by the look in his eyes, then bringing truly shocking devastation. This was an arbitrary act.
Not hunting or gathering, simply damaging without cause. So many tiny lives ended, for utterly no reason.
Ferrum's own rage boiled to the surface.
He would find this man, and he would make him pay his own life as a cost. That was true neutrality. That was true fairness.
Bearing the rage of nature.
Setting: The edge of Emptiness
Content: Safe For Work
Summary: With post-battle fatigue, Jhanra turns towards Niflheim until she is stopped in her tracks.
Continuation of this thread.
As Jhanra walked away from her technical victory, she couldn't help but barely contain the anger swelling in her breast. The storm clouds that were so devastating overhead dissipated anti-climatically as quickly as they had gathered. With her bow tightly gripped in her hand, she couldn't help but dwell on his cowardice and her own fury.
She couldn't help but not pay attention to her surroundings.
The sound of footsteps could have been heard by her keen ears, but they weren't, so focused she was on not earning another bloody death.
Setting: Witchlight Forest and the Grey Manor
Summary: A new arrival is escorted to her new home by the grey shepherd.
Slivers of moonlight filtered through a small rift between the branches in the thick canopy overhead as dew-drenched leaves fluttered in the breeze. Beyond the path, the forest stirred innocently with the songs of crickets and small creatures. Their eyes caught the glow from the moon as the beasts darted and crawled amongst the shadows, all shapes obscured and twisted in the darkness. Then the wind picked up suddenly, a hollow roar sweeping away all other sounds save for the clatter of trembling branches and snap of breaking twigs.
When all was still again, the moon had moved just so along its trek in Morganda’s sky. Enough light was cast to illuminate the face of a bone-white mask, its silhouette tapered down to a point, like a beak. Its owner sat with her back pressed against the trunk of a tree, her body nestled between its ancient roots like an egg tucked away in a nest. Her attire appeared almost entirely black, with touches of silver here and there in the buttons that lined her vest, and the buckle of the belt at her waist. The cloak seemed completely shredded, but it was actually lined with dozens upon dozens of loose pieces of tattered cloth, the deliberate design resembling the feathers on the wings of a crow.
Ever so faintly, her shoulders rose and fell in time with her shallow breaths. Behind the mask, the wearer’s eyelids were closed in slumber, flickers of dreams hinted at in their subtle shifting motions. Something restless in her sleep, disquieted, began to rouse her, quickening her heart until she was gasping, panting.
She startled awake at last. The flinch of her shoulders was sharp as Eileen regained consciousness, and she began to notice her surroundings for the first time.
‘Was I… dreaming?’
Setting: The Training Grounds at the southernmost portion of Asgard.
Summary: A young, weathered soldier contemplates his decade of conflict.
Private Kururugi, Reporting! Genbu had laughed that sandpaper laugh of his whenever the young boy would declare that to an unoccupied tatami room, feigning cleaving apart portions of imaginary foes in daring heroics. He'd ask his son, parting a bit of the mop of brown atop his head, whether he was the good guys or the bad guys this time. "Good guys, father!" The young boy would always say, hotly demanding of Genbu why he could never remember. Genbu would throw his hands up in mock surrender to this brave warrior, and apologize for his failing memory in his ripe old age.
Private Kururugi, Reporting! Declared the boy in oversized gray fatigues, to which Kyoshiro Tohdoh would give him a respectable thwack on his forehead. He'd ask the boy if he was immature or stupid, sharply reminding him that those titles and uniform carried weight and should only be wielded by those prepared to defend their homeland. The boy would assert that he was prepared, and get himself beaten soundly by the old soldier several dozen times. Fresh bruises would be fussed over by his mother, and the old soldier would apologize excessively for the boy's failings.
Private Kururugi, Reporting! Declared the young soldier in well-fitting riot gear to the duke clad in white and gold. The duke narrowed one pudgy eye socket occupied by a gaudy, fogged monocle. The young man always wondered whether one day the glass would shatter and put out the duke's eye. The young man wished very much for that faraway possibility. The duke would spit out the day's orders, jowls shaking like they a possessed great dane. The young man never questioned, never faltered. His spirit waned every time he heard the thunder of his weapon.
Private Kururugi, Reporting! The young pilot in white resisted declaring as the glimmering machinery at his fingers surged and purred, as though it had spent its entire existence eagerly anticipating his touch. The young man winced as Lloyd Asplund tittered in glee in his ears, urging him to take his shiny two-ton toy on its first date. He felt fear of the power in his hands, but conviction that quieted it.
Private Kururugi, Reporting. The young knight had imagined declaring as the princess with curls pinker than the sweetest rose had laid the blunt blade on his shoulder in a silent oath. She looked more beautiful than anything he had ever seen. He felt hope.
Private Kururugi, Reporting. The knight had declared bitterly under his breath when he had donned the ornate vestments and raised a holy sword, looking at six other faces he neither recognized nor cared about.
Private Kururugi, Reporting. The fake revolutionary had heard declared in his mind beneath the faceless black mask, tears he didn't understand falling as the man he once called brother shuddered and went limp.
Private Kururugi, Reporting. The fist of the Empress had thought for the final time as he rose, standing beside the small monarch with more pain in her eyes than he'd ever seen.
And now, here he stood. Suzaku Kururugi casts his brown gaze towards the horizon, called once again to do what he did better than anything and loathed even more than himself.
Private Kururugi, Reporting.
Setting: The Throne Room / Assembly Hall
Summary: As agreed upon by most Asgardians, a debriefing after the first trial has been deemed necessary. Whether they have agreed for the sake of those troubled by the event, to assert dominance, or to work out a plan of action, they all have their own reasons and perspectives for participating.
Status: In progress. Backdated, slightly, as it is assumed this happens the evening of the trial, after its end.
Wearing a high-collared set of white and blue robes that covered his neck and brushed against the floor as he moved, the blond-haired shepherd shifted to sit on the desk he'd requested be moved into the hall for the sake of the meeting. Indeed, several comfortable wooden chairs, with cushions, had been brought into the hallway as well so that no one need stand in the grand assembly hall that had once been a throne room.
"Mr. Munakata has been kind enough to suggest we discuss the events of the trial together so that we all may reach agreements on how to handle various things, such as going outside. I believe that we should discuss what occured so that those of us more troubled by events can be helped, as well. While we lost this trial, we haven't lost the war. We can do it. I am here to help you as much as I am able. All you ever need is ask."
Setting: Asgard's Gardens.
Summary: Itachi meditates. Birds like him. Thus, birds. And Duck. As she is also a bird.
Status: In progress.
Amidst the mass of warm colors and lush greens that comprised the Castle of Skies's agricultural section, there sits a much darker mass of reds and blacks. Itachi is motionless among the perpetual summer cast by the glaring sun above, the robes that signified his prior allegiances for the moment unshed. The elder Uchiha doubted any would recognize its significance, but he resolved to shed it if need be. For now, however, its broad and baggy design served to make it a more ample perch for the dozens of feathered guests in his ruminations. The man considered much, and yet little. Thinking of small matters was a welcome change.
Itachi's lodgings were moderately ornate for his tastes, though he'd grown overly accustomed to a soldier's existence, and resolved to enjoy and appreciate the hospitality as much as he was able. Certainly facilitating that task was the myriad of crows fond of nesting aside his window, which had come to him easily when he bid. Though they looked amply fed, Itachi found his weak heart unable to resist indulging their stomachs a bit more.
Said creatures had followed him curiously outside when he'd decided to clear his mind as a pretext to some reconnaissance. Reconnoitering being an obvious first step when found in a novel situation, of course. But, for the moment, he found himself enjoying the serenity offered by the gardens. The crows pecked and prodded, strutting about like miniature black dukes.
[Note: For those interacting directly to each other, please reply directly to their comments. For those starting a new interaction not directly related to other character interactions, please comment directly to the entry again. At least one comment will be required to consider a character 'present' for the celebration, otherwise they will be noted as missing.]
The dining hall was arguably the most extravagant and immoderate room in the entire castle, holding not only two jaw-dropping lengths of mahogany for tables, but additional off-set areas for lounging, digesting, dessert-sampling and tea-tasting. Each area was frequently restocked with meals and appetizers carried in by burdened specters upon plates and colanders of gold, glass, ceramic and marble. Fires burn in grandiose flues that lay up and down the immense hall, accompanied by mantelpiece and busts. Loafing chairs and cushions are splayed around them for quiet discussions among smaller groups. The entire hall was a testament to excess.
This excess was even greater this evening, when gold fountains overflowing with red wine were placed beside lounge areas and along tables as centerpieces. Preserved carnivorous flora were arranged and displayed in vases across the hall. Beautiful and terrifying demon visitors populated the place as though invited for the sole purpose of garnering the attention of the Niflheimers - for better or worse. As though uninterested beyond amusing themselves, they spoke little, never once uttering their own names.
"Welcome, welcome, victors of the first trial. I welcome you to this celebratory dinner, where you may indulge after all your hard work," Lucifer drawled, scratching the chin of humanoid demon with the head of a goat. "Whatever your tastes, I believe you will find somethin'," he gestured at the food, "...or someone, to suit your palate as a personal thank you. To the victors, the spoils. However...should you have lost your own, personal struggle during the very first trial..."
Lucifer's eyes lingered on those who had arrived for dinner yet lost as a selected champion. "...Enjoy tonight, for the sake of those who saved you from your fate. Expect a visit from me soon," he purred.
With his relatively brief speech now complete, Lucifer turned his attention back to the demons surrounding him, his own responses drowned out by the general liveliness of his guests.