In Celebration

May 04, 2016:

Bogatyr sends out invites to attend a celebration - and is pleasantly surprised


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Mortals have called places like this a "divine realm", but even by Bog's measure that would be pushing it. It's a little bit of almost-reality cut off from the rest of the world, the sort of place you need the address to be able to get to without finding yourself lost between the realms. Even here, Bogatyr isn't quite a god but well he's certainly more powerful than in the rest of the world. This is a wild land, a place raw wilderness the likes of which mortal humans have likely never glimpsed. A massive hanging valley surrounded on three corners by enormous snow covered mountains, bisected by a quickly flowing mountain stream which ends in a waterfall to the lowlands beyond. The ground is a mixture of slick stone, dense pine needle beds and supernaturally brilliant emerald green moss. The stone path winding through the enormous giant redwoods crosses the river, before proceeding onwards to the great hall beyond. The ancient stone work decorated with vibrant paintings of verdant green boar and battles long forgotten by human memory.
The great doors of this hall have been left open, guarded exclusively by a pair of enormous weathered stone boar half covered in moss and stark black resin. The hall itself is, well kind of a mess really. There are statues, even crude effigies of boar stacked amongst arms, armor and of course what must be several hundred shields in various state of disrepair. The central span then has been left thankfully open, though beyond a small cleared area at it's end there is a veritable cornicopia of paintings, skulls, old shredded traveling cloaks, even a few muskets and of course a few more modern firearms.
The invites have been sent, because well this is apparently some sort of holiday for the cult and by extention Bogatyr. The guy seems to have at least taken the day off then, not that he's been terribly productive of course. He stands off to one side in the sort've formal attire you might've expected of a nobleman a few hundred years back. Chainmail shirt, a neat green and gold boar themed tabbard and a sword worn at his side. Sorting through a stack of paintings with a casual little whistle, he hasn't actually had anyone to share this day with in a few hundred years at least so despite the few invitations dropped he's not exactly expecting anyone to actually show.

Fenris appears and with him his companion Astryd. Actually he appeared at the edges of the realm out of a sense of courtesy. Often people, even divine ones, object if you just show up in their dining room, even with an invitation. He comes through as a wolf as well and it was really quite a walk over here. This place has a wild, raw beauty to it that appeals to the God-Wolf very much. As he emerges from the treeline though, he shrinks down, adopting a human guise once more in the space of a few steps. "Goodness…" He murmurs to Astryd before calling out.

"Good morrow and well met."

Astryd, appearing with Fenris, takes her time to look around and turns her face to the sky. This place has a raw, primal, beauty that calls to the Goddess and she'll drink it in, while she can.

Walking beside the God-Wolf, glancing at him with that half amused look of hers as he shrinks down "Goodness, indeed, Fenris." she murmurs and her greeting to his "Well met, Ser Bogatyr. Forgive me for not knowing the correct greeting on this day."

Company was, well invited but not expected so theres a moment worth of awkward silence before he breaks out in a smile. "Hail, well met indeed. No need to worry yourselves over such sundries, it's just the three of us. Truth be told it's been so long since anyone actually came I kind of gave up actually expecting company a few hundred years back, but please make yourselves at home. Today, you are my guests and I shall endeavor to spoil you both rotten."He pauses to pull out a chair on either side of the table, before snagging a pair of hand carved wooden cups full of something fermented well north of mead and offers it over. "Welcome indeed, I'll fetch the mutton and stew. Today, we celebrate the old festival of the founding. I used to bring my best warriors over for the day, but well most of my followers are pacifists these days. Well armed hippy types I'm afraid."

"Do they at least know how to use the weapons?" Fenris has no problems with pacifists per se but it's a dog eat dog world and everyone should know how to defend themselves even if they'd prefer not to.

"We were both honored by your invitation, Bogatyr and quite happy to come." He wonders if the cult might not benefit from a bit of display of their God's… godliness, but the Knight likely knows best.

The American way would be to offer to help with something. Fenris just sits down. He knows the rules of old world hospitality and how to not offend a host. "Smells delicious."

Old World Hospitality. Astryd accepts the cup and takes a sip, grey eyes lighting in appreciation at the flavour. "Well armed hippy types?" that brings a rare smile "Now I have visions of rifles festooned with daisies…"

Taking the offered seat, she nods her agreement to his words "I was honoured, Bogatyr. It's been a while since …." she trails off. "It does smell delicious."

"Oh of course they know how to fight, in theory. The cult almost died out whilst I was gone though, we found new blood in the whole new age hippy culture of the sixties. They got down for the natural aspect of the worship, and well I am in no position to complain really. They understand at least on an intellectual level, the necessity of combat in the defense of life and liberty."Theres a shrug there as Bog returns with bowls and plates, roast Mutton and some kind of heavy venison stew. The Mead is, well halfway between mead and moonshine but hey it's free.
Bog joins his guests soonest of course, all smiles. "Once upon a time we were warriors all, and the aspect of nature as far as the cult goes? Well that was to ensure that my followers remained anchored, that they respected a natural order to the world and didn't see fit to break the order of things for their convience. It also meant that we were the most dangerous army in all of Siberia, we marched through blizzards and bogs. We put our enemies to the sword, and vanished back into the wastes wearing gold and the pelts of tigers we had slayed with our swords. Now though, well things have changed. Not for the better, but I'm not in a position to complain. I'm still alive."

"So you are." Fenris takes a deep pull of his mead and honestly it's the best thing he's had this side of Asgard. This god - or maybe his cult - can brew. "I always wondered what it was like, having a Cult. I never encouraged that kind of thing myself. Some would, especially in older days, venerate me. But my own legened ensured it was never widespread nor ever very organized." For the most part people don't pray to Fenris, recent things with a certain coyote notwithstanding.

"You seem to take good care of your people though. It's a pity that there are so few." They've spoken of that briefly before, but not at length. "Will you try to… revive the faith once more?"

Astryd gestures to her cup, that's she drained most of. What? The Valkyrie enjoys a strong ale as much as the next … god or goddess "Perhaps we should add some to your cellar, Fenris. It is good." Maybe the cults brewer could be convinced.

"I can't say that I've wondered." Astryd considers this for a moment "People don't rever Valkyries as they do the other gods … Fenris included. We're … more … feared, I guess."

As the plates are bought out, the grey eyed woman breathes deeply "Smells even better up close." she murmurs and looks to Bogatyr as Fenris asks his question.

"I am trying, but you know most of the time that whole effort goes sideways. You tell somone about a cult, and they think Heaven's gate. I've got scientology branding us a dangerous cult and putting out propaganda, and then people freaking out because one of our tenents is the carriage of arms. So it's a well armed, secretive cult and that generally shuts us down right out of the gate. Once upon a time, we were nearly ten thousand. Now we are less than two hundred, it used to take me hours before I reincarnated. Now, well last time it took two hundred years."Bog shrugs a little, reaching across to refill Astryd's cup. "If things stay as they are, I do not anticipate I will return after my next death. Last of the great wilderness spirits, out like a light."

Maybe it's a fairy thing, or perhaps she'd felt the others there already and decided that she needn't wait to make her way in. Instead a sudden rush of glowing butterflies form out of the air, swarming together before they appear to 'shatter' and Witchdoctor appear in their wake. Today, not out in the modern world, her attire is more 'Witchlike', the equisite gown worn with her hair down and no firearm clear on her person. There was a certain freedom in being around purely mystical beings.

"Cults come and go. You'd be suprised what people might worship 100 years from now…" Had she been listening in, or just simply picked that right moment to appear? Offering a smile and nod of greating she turns her gaze to Bogatyr. "I was suprised to recieve your 'call'."

"Scientology." Fenris snorts. Now there's an amusing group of mortals. The gods walk among them and they need to invent more. Humanity's propensity for finding things to worship, or worshiping itself, will never case to amaze him.

"Mmmm, another guest?" The God-Wolf half turns in his seat to see who it is. Ah yes, she scents familair. He offers her a polite wave before turning his attention to the stew which… oh yes. That looks hearty.

"Perhaps there's another way…" He muses. And then perhaps not. Some things end, that's simply the way of the world. Doesn't mean that Bogatyr can't carve a path to glory before he goes.

Astryd smiles at Bogatyr, a genuine smile that softens the hard lines a fraction, and lifts the cup in a salute. "Times change … " she begins as another voice cuts in and she turns, resuming her usual stern, stoic visage. "Another guest, Bogatyr, the stars must be aligned." with a nod to the newcomer, she too turns her attention to the food and takes a bite.

"This …" she gestures with a fork "… is delightful."

"A mortal hero to join the company of high kings, queens and gods then! Well met fair maiden, please take a seat and be at ease."Bog rises to square everyone's favorite witch doctor away with Mead, stew and mutton before he bothers settling back down. "Cults come and go, but fair hero. When my cult dies, so do I. I am a wild thing, a manifestation of wild animal fury given form by the will of man. They worship and provide me an anchor to manifest upon. I protect them, advise them and see to their survival as a distinctive culture. Without the cult, I become a memory. Such is the way of gods like myself."
"Times change, certainly. They also remain the same. For a second time I have fought in the holy land now, I was a Marine you know. I returned to Afghanistan and babylon, felt the ghost of Alexander. Yet men at arms have no lord to absolve them of the misplaced shame they feel as a result of just combat and warfare, they do not seek gods like me anymore."

"A memory forgotten could always be refound some time," Alyse says, but she smiles as she takes a seat, nodding and grateful for the food offered. A feast like this, this style of celebrating…it's hardly ordinary for the only mortal at the table. But she's doing her best to make it seem rather comfortable, being in the presence of deities is a good enough reason to seem confident. "Good to see you again, God-Wolf and Valkyrie." They're the only names she knows them by, or at least the most formal. "I'm suprised to be on the same invitation as you two…and suprised to she 'gods' of different worship dining together."

Fenris has seen the warfare of the modern age and he agrees in principle that the more things change, the more they stay the same. What has not stayed the same is how very dangerous mortals of this age have become in numbers and fury, even to beings such as himself. He's not sure his fellows - he means gods not present here, like this in Asgard - have really grasped that. Now's not the time to bring it up, though.

"Bogatyr isn't one of the Ivory Tower types." Fenris says between bites of stew, gesturing at their host. "Nor, for that matter, are Astryd and I." Fenris isn't a people person but he's also not so aloof and 'holy' that he'll be sullied by interacting with people, thank the Norns.

"If you're here I'm sure he found you of some significant merit." Which… he'd kind of like to hear about but that's up to both Alyse and their host.

Astryd snorts softly at Bogatry observations. "Three hundred years have I been bound here, and I've been service on this realm for much longer. The only thing I note is that mortals are becoming more dangerous." she echoes Fenris' own thoughts in that. "So the more they change, the more the stay the same, most certainly."

"Call me Astryd," the grey eyed woman looks once more to Alyse "and I've lived amongst mortals for a while." She too is aloof, separated from them, but since arriving in New York several months ago has started to make stronger connections.

"I am a god of action, not of birthrite and classism. You fight with heart and honor for the well being of the realm, you can share a meal with me any time. You are as deserving of my company as anyone is, so please eat and be merry. Relax and take heart, you have been judged well."Bog seems, well at ease and then some really. "It is the nature of war to become more deadly, thats just the order of the day. Humans aren't changing really, human nature is what it has always been. I do miss some things, romance for instance."

Of course, Alyse doesn't mention that aside from the 'Cult of Thor', she'd not heard of any gods walking the earth in her time. Even the age of heroes had faded to myth and legend, with many of the beings she'd witnessed here never having existed before. Too much thought, too much recollection about things lost and memories less then pleasent. Instead she takes her first bite of the meal and makes a little noise of approval for the taste, bringing the back of her hand to a lips for a moment before she swallows and can speak clearly. "Romance? Some say that it's dead in most places," she comments with a smile still on those lips.

"As in Mallory or are you thinking something else?" The classic knightly tales of deeds performed in the name of romance are of course some of the most recognizeable pieces of western literature. Though Bogatyr could equally be referring to the old ways of battle, killing men as you looked them in the eye and such. Fenris is old enough ot have heard people wax poetic about that too.

"Never took you for a romantic, Bogatyr." He grins.

"Romance?" Astryd looks amused as she considers the knight errant. "What type of romance do you miss, Bogatyr?" Shaking her head, taking another mouthful of food before continuing "The deeds I saw … undertaken in the name of romance, leave a slightly sour taste in my mouth."

"Do, say more?"

"Proper, romance."That explains it all, right? Bog rises with a rumble, meandering astray to peer through stacks of paintings before finally selecting one and lifting it for all to see. It's a lovely work, clearly romantic in more than the strict artistic sense of the word. A lovely maiden dressed finely pauses, as a knight in green and gold lifts his shield above to shield her from the sun as a crowd looks on from afar. "My third wife, there actually. I mean proper romance, when men would journey to the ends of the earth to prove themselves worthy of a simple kiss. When it was considered glorious to tie a woman's kerchief to your armor and go to war with her favor. When men were permitted to open doors, and defend a lady's honor. Not because they couldn't do these things themselves, but because they were deserving of such kindnesses. I rode into many a battle with my wife's crest emblazoned over my shield or armor, so that even if I died and made her a widow? She would know I was worthy of her affections to the end, that I was honorable and just until my final moments. Now, it's a debate about sex on the first date or the second. Such things makes it cheap, common, easy. What worth is a man who wouldn't risk his life to defend a lady's honor, what good is a woman who would disgrace herself and her husband with crude language and infidelity?"

Fenris turns to look at the painting. The woman is, indeed quite lovely. Bogatyr expounding on old world views has the God-Wolf both smiling and interested.

It's really simple actually. Fenris is not a 'wolf' biologicially but he is very wolfish. Very animal. His baseline of thinking is closer to lupine than human though not truely either so while he has observed social mores wax and wane over the years he's never felt particularly connected to them. Hearing another nature god speak so ardently of very human customs is…

Well it's curious. And interesting.

"I take it you've yet to find someone worth the trouble in this modern age, then?" Seems like that would be difficult.

A laugh, the fae-blooded woman seems amused, but not mocking. Romance isn't exactly something the Witch was well-versed in, strange as that was for someone of her heritage. Taking a sip of her drink she shakes her head. "This world is very strange, the way people interact with each other. But culture and values are different, even where I came from. Personally? Dates were not exactly part of my studies." Fenris' comment makes her tilt her head to the side it seems she shares the curiousity, but for all of the views at the table rather then just Bog's.

Astryd raises an eyebrow at the commentary and the old world values. "Forgive me, Bogatyr… but I don't need a man to defend my honour." There is a genuine humour in her voice. Any who know her will know that she can more than defend herself "… I need a man who would stand with me and one that I could respect in battle."

Taking another sip of her drink, the grey eyed woman laughs softly "That is something that I've come to appreciate of this time - although, it has all become rather muddled." Perhaps it is telling that she's made no attachments in the three hundred years she's been bound to this realm.

"The world is focused on cheapness. Cheap food, cheap houses, cheap media, cheap vices, cheap love. Smallest amount invested in a relationship possible, to get some fraction of sexual gratification without any true understanding of what marriage is supposed to be about. It's not a license to rut and raise children, it does not make you an adult. Last time I was married, I courted my wife for three years. I killed nine men just to return her glove to her, and then we traded a library of sappy letters which would likely be considered prude by today's standards but yaknow what? Getting a letter with a hint of perfume, that was big back then. She cut down a man who threw my armor on the floor, because she would not abide a man who disrespected her husband that way. Nearly killed another woman who I forget what she said, but yeah. Just because I feel a woman should not -have- to fight, I believe that she should be permitted to if it is her choice. A good husband provides his wife with the luxury of choice, not the burden of obligation."Relationship advice, with Bogatyr. Even as he settles that painting down and returns to his seat.
"I died with her silk scarf tied to my armor, they tell me when Napoleon took the city she stabbed two of his soldiers and shot a third before she threw herself off a cliff to deny them the honor of her capture."Bog shrugs a little at that. "I fought for our honor as a single cohesive unit, and when that died she protected it with her life. That is absolutely fighting beside her husband in every way that matters, to me at least."

There's a little sting of sadness of Alyse as she doesn't speak up with further comment. Another bite of the delicious meal and she silently considers how much the world she came from would burn Bogatyr if this one already hurts him. One might notice some thought cross her face, but the mortal at the table is silent otherwise for the time being, only offering a raise of her eyebrow at the little hints of romantic history from Fenris and Astryd.

Fenris continues to listen. There's a lot in there, insight into humanity and how it works. Or how it used to anyway. The Knight is quite correct that they seem enamoured with convenience these days. What's to be done about that? Not much perhaps, but Fenris isn't really worried. Mortals change every century or so. Just when you were getting used to them.

"I'm glad that she at least was able to die the way she lived."

He'll be happy to stay and continue to listen of course. He hasn't had a decent sit down like this in some time.

Astryd listens as well, the amusement fading slightly. She comes from a very different realm. "That may be so, Bogatyr. Convenience is certainly the name of the game at the moment." She see's the depth of the Knights love for his wife and it's gratifying on so many levels.

It was a different world then.

The Valkyrie, however, is observant and she's the look that crosses the other womans face "What is it, child?" From Astryds long life, most … are children.

"It is a different world, in many ways a better one but there are things I miss. Romance, the understanding of what war really was. That war wasn't some abstract unkindness that lived in the television, that happened only to other people. That the men and women who journey abroad to take arms in their name, are a treasure beyond all measure. I came back from Iraq to be called a murderer of children, people slashed the tires on my truck. I wear a badge and enforce the just laws of this land, and am called a fascist as if that is some abstract hurtful thing they can sling about with abandon. Others are granted free conduct when they put on a badge, basic rights to protection and essential civil liberties which I flew half a world away to protect are threatened for political grand standing."Bog offers another plaintive little shrug before tucking after his chow. "That said, we have trucks and the country I was born to is beyond measure in it's beauty. People are more understanding, tolerant. We don't burn people at the stake anymore, at least not literally."

"Just…a different world for all of us," Witchdoctor says lightly, adjusting her dress lightly and closing her eyes. "The only gods where I from were money. Even magics and forces wielded supernatural were just more tools, more weapons for people with a bigger desk to sit behind. I'm thankful it looks like that this world's 'past' is already so different that I know it's not a future set in stone." The blonde witch scratches at her cheek after a moment, tilting her head while she looks at Bogatyr. "You died as a knight…then fought as a marine. Are you some sort of avatar?"

"That, my friend…" Astryd's grey eyes land on Bogatyr "is a struggle eternal. The number of warriors I have led to Valhalla or similar, sing a similar lament. Those whose freedom we fight for, may never understand the sacrifice made in their name."

It's said and tragic, but still true.

Alyse's comments get a cant of the Goddesses head "There are many paths, child. Many threads that the Norns weave… therefore nothing so set in stone." Well, maybe Ragnarok but even that coming to fruition is not given.

"Still, this is a time for celebration is it not?" The Valkyrie raises her cup. "Let us toast, then. Ser Bogatyr, to what shall we toast? It is your day, after all."

"I am a manifestation, there aren't words for things like me in the mortal tongue. I am a kind of god, and so I die and am born again at the will of my people. The more I am worshipped, the more permenent I am."Bogatyr just shrugs. "I have been about since well before man lived, I have been a great many things. Tigers, bears, though I first met man as a boar."Bog accepts the invitation to a toast with a grin. Cracking his neck and letting loose some of his grip on that manifestation. The result is, well Astryd may or may not find it impressive. Behind the seated knight, grows a ghostly apparition. A boar made of all manner of greenery, from roses to moss and vine. A great green boar bearing a vaguely arrow like marking upon it's shoulders, like the boar which decorates Bog's shields.
"To Bravery, honor and romance."He gives a little wink there, before meeting that toast and downing that brew without much trouble.

For all her knowledge of the arcane and magics she controls, this new world where gods are things she dines with rather then invokes is certainly strange. Her blue eyes watch the apparition form with interest more then awe, after all with what she'd seen before it wasn't the most shocking event to witness. Even so, she raises her glass with a smile when the host answers Astryd's question. "To Bravery, honor and romance."

The result is awe inspiring. Even a Goddess can admit that. "To Bravery, Honour and Romance." she echoes as she raises her cup higher and downing the beverage in a gulp.

"If your brewer has more of this, Bogatyr, I would gladly pay for a keg or two." One for her place and one for Fenris' …. "Now, let us enjoy the rest of the evening and this wonderful setting you've provided."

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