The Hunt of the Bersekir

May 17, 2017:

Mattias is on his first true path to claim his place in Asgard under the drive of Enchantress.

Asgardian Forests for The Hunt



NPCs: Malekith the Accursed



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Within the forest…

    It could be days before anything is heard, seen, found, or even able to reveal a track for him to follow.  He is meant to first learn, survive, and then claim a place within either the vast expanse itself or that of his prophecy.

But when it does, that print is massive, half of his body could fit within the pit it put in the mud of the forest floor, and the trees scraped clean of bark are either inset in decay, or splintered in twixt, fallen to a state of decay.
    An ever moving stream with glowing rays of light.
Emotions tied to past lies and I know I should let go..

But the first dream, or true sight of the beast has it a hulking shadow that would black out any light allowed to filter through the dark canopy, but cast deeper along the outline of the beast by the very age of moss, bramble, and time, upon the haunched rise above shoulders and down its back.

The Keep…

Enchantress left the Falls, to return to the keep, the monolithic structure perched to overlook the precipice she had brought him to. Indeed…

Behind her, flames dance within a massive hearth, the furnishings elaborate, but over a shield turned to concave toward the ceiling of the room, waters ripple, and a piece of that shirt is sliced, a sliver just above /ORE/, flicking stretched threads to fall within and cast a glow that flashes and then dies all before fingertips dimple the surface that now reacts like a gel, bowing and rebounding, but in those ripples her reflection of eyes bearing nothing but the fleck of pupils and no earthen hue watches…

        What~ are you doing, //Enchantress~? //
                What no one else will. Come and stop me.

A flick of hand as if slamming a door, and she remains vigil.

It could be that Mattias Larsson may never return to Midgard, to disappear in another realm or fall into deathlike sleep until Hela comes to claim him.
    Which she would. Now that the illusioned blanket of anonymity once in place by Malekith the Accursed has been torn out of place.

        Heimdall, himself, may very well be watching if not for Amora’s intervention.

Naked and alone, hours after what was at first a trite celebration of his nameday without others to sing his praises in Migdard, Mattias Larsson trudges into the unknown of a forest he’s never dared. The twigs crunch under his toes, a whole realm away from any forest he’s ever seen, with no landmarks, no phone, no help or any of the niceties the denizens of Midgard have come to rely in such places.

    There is no GPS.
        There is no forestry service.

Breathing fog out of his lips and past his stringy, blonde hair, Mattias comes to the forest’s edge and he slows. The jagged trees and fog before him stretches for as far as he can see, and with a palm against the first tree, he stops to gaze for a paths and trails that simply do not exist. His tongue wets his lips at the raw, unbridled reality that what he is about to partake upon will be life or death, and that the woman keeping vigil at the keep, not knowing if she is watching or not, may lift no such finger to aid him.

    He won her the night before in a contest he was prepared for. He’s always been strong.
        This…is an entirely different test, altogether.

With pure effort of will, his feet carry him over the rocks and mud into the great forest. The other men of the forest, hunters and trappers, would laugh at his first hours of clumsiness, marking his path from the forest’s edge carelessly, stepping on branches, scattering birds and the tiny wildlife in his hunt for tracks that would lead him to his ber. Within hours, hunger settles in, and by the time night falls, Mattias spends his first frigid sleep in the hollow of a great tree, arms wrapped about his knees, huddled into the shelter against the wind and streaming rainfall with muddy water gathering about his ankles.

Famished, he wakes the next morning with black circles under his eyes, looking upon the creatures of the forest with newfound hunger. The first signs of his transformation into that of a predator come then, no longer seeing them as wildlife to admire, gaze at through binoculars, or snap photographs of. They become game. Prey. Prey that, soon, he will have to tackle or face the weakness that comes with hunger.

They run from him.
    He follows.
        They run faster.

The second night, Mattias spends slathered in dirt beside a stream. The blood of the elk he’d killed coating his lips, he’d barely swallowed down the first blackened strips of meat from a fire that took him hours to make, but make it he did, and with the antlers of the creature he’d teleported above and brought down with all of his strength, he torn apart the hide in an attempt to skin it, but was left only with ragged strips and gore over his hands.

    Until the fire died and sleep took him, he’d carved the remains of those antlers into sharp points. Bone, stronger than that of wood, were grated into two stiletto shivs that could kill.

After four days, Mattias had become a changed creature. He’d learned to mask his scent with mud, and to sleep in the trees. He moved during the night, careful to wash the fresh blood that sustained his life through the passing hours.

When he comes upon the massive paw print in the mud, only then did it occur to Mattias, Son of Lars, that he was not hunting a mere bear, but a monster. The elk were simple game, and the antler-sharpened knives he held in his hands, would have to do. He lowers to his knees, naked as he has been through the entire ordeal, and slides his body down through the mud of the paw print. Back arching, he digs his fingers into the creature’s remaining print, gathering what scent he can of the beast and inhaling it, but coating his skin in the left behind mud.

    Like an animal, Mattias Larsson rolls, coating his pink skin over in muddy earth, smearing it upon his face, slicking it back through his hair until the blonde strips become a matted gray.

By nightfall, Mattias Larsson finds his ber. Lumbering and massive, nearly twice his height when standing upon its hind legs. He circles the beast as it rends its head against the carcass of an elk, tearing at the meat, distracted from the presence of the wayward Asgardian that circles until his eyes can feel the wind caressing against them. Downwind.

The time…has come.

Mattias presses his toes into the mud and stalks towards the ber. Foot over foot, heel twisting in the mud, avoiding the many fallen branches that line the unmarked path towards the monstrous creature. His mud-caked spine arches low, walking in a crouch, looking ever-more like one of Malekith’s favored dark elven assassins.

    Trained to kill.
        Trained to kill…whoever Malekith had planned him to.

Mattias leaps from a high boulder behind the bear. Spine arching and belly baring outwards in his leap, his body becomes a strung bow as he sails. Antlers held in an overhanded grip, sharpened points towards the ground, he times his strike perfectly. He lands upon the beast’s back and when the blades stab into the shouldering meat of the bear’s neck, seeking arteries assumed to be there, the forest explodes in fury.

    The roar of the bear shudders the trees about them.
        It’s back hunches against the weight of the predator, bucking and twisting as stab-after-stab comes to wrestle Mattias off of its back.

It doesn’t take long.
    Antler-shivs in hand, Mattias is thrown across the short distance into a tree, which cracks under the weight of his body, groans, and begins its descent to the floor beneath. With a pained sound, Mattias bounces off of the tree and lands in the dirt.

The bear…charges, galloping, mouth opening wide enough to swallow his head whole, stinking breath coated with the scent of a hundred deaths.

    Its massive weight, forehead and all, crushes into Mattias with the force of a runaway truck.

        Mattias roars back, stabbing, dragged under the weight of the beast. Fresh gore dripping from his makeshift knives, he kicks under the weight of the creature to learn something new about the wildlife of Asgard…

    …they’re stronger than he is.

Suffering under the weight of the bear, Mattias throws up a forearm to the beast’s neck to block a bite, but the weight of the creature thunders past his arm and teeth sink into his muddied shoulder. A pained sound, a man’s sound, echoes off of the trees.


    The bear’s massive maw clamps shut, tasting fire and smoke as Mattias Larsson disappears, reappearing once more above the beast in a deadfall. Within seconds, the crushing weight of Mattias upon the bear’s back sends the pop of strained vertebrae as the blades dig in once again. Gouts of fresh blood sing through the air, and before the bear can buck him off, Mattias leaps back, skidding in the mud past the elk’s carcass.

    They both bleed.

The bear turns around to face his attacker, seeing his face from a distance for the first time. A fresh trickle of blood streams down the front of Mattias’ body as he circles, locked in a death stare with the predator that had never assumed it would be chosen for prey. Fingers twitch against the smoothed bone of his weapons, readjusting his grip, readying his weapons — his lifelines — against the creature.

    It rears back on its hind legs, paws lifting wide in a display of dominance. Its shadow looms over Mattias like a black cloud, a sign of his doom, and when its weight comes down in another bellowing roar that sends birds scattering from the trees miles away, the very ground beneath Mattias Larsson’s feet quakes.


Mattias teleports.
    The bear catches his scent flying in from its left.
        It turns and swings its paw.
            Once again, Mattias falls.

It wastes no time lumbering in for the kill. With but moments to spare to keep the bear’s teeth from his throat, Mattias lifts an arm and jams his left arm up. The teeth find his forearm instead of his neck, crunching down with the snap of bone and a fresh stream of blood. The white, hot pain clouds Mattias’ eyes, and if not for the sudden decision to stab into the bear’s neck and hug it as closely as he could, the immediate wrenching of the bear’s grip on his arm might have torn the limb clean from his body.

One antler falls from fingers, attached to a broken forearm, bouncing off of a naked, mud-covered hip in the struggle. The death of one or the other imminent, Mattias finds himself in new trouble, buried under the weight of the beast, stabbing with abandon into the neck of the creature to no avail. His voice becomes that of an animal’s shouting gibberish curses with each stab until he loses the want to blindly stab and digs the blade into the bear’s eye socket.

The bear shudders back, letting go of Mattias Larsson’s arm and whipping its head about, confused at the blinding pain that has robbed it of one of its eyes.

Mattias crawls.
        For the dropped antler.

Arm cradled to his chest, he slides across the mud until he pulls its length, half-submerged in a pool of blood, and pushes to his feet.

    The bear charges.
        Mattias roars in defiance back to the beast.
            Two massive bodies crush together.

Mattias, Son of Lars, disappears from view from the forest.

The longer the sun and moon creep over one another, the more the wait becomes grim.
    One hour turns into two.
        Two hours turns past the night point of the sun and the midday.
    Night falls.
        Still…no sign of Mattias.

It isn’t until late in the hour on the second day, where few souls would bother to be awake, that the sound of bare footsteps can be heard lurching towards Amora’s private keep in Asgard. Each step is pained, followed by the heavy sound of a body dragging across the ground behind him. A trail of blood paints a path through the forest and has grown long since dry, the blood of the giant bear spent across the landscape in the climb from the forest.
    Past the lake.
        Up the hills.

With a heavy palm and an echoed punch, Mattias, a beast of mud and painted with both his blood and that of the bear, shoves through the heavy doors of Amora’s keep. Bathed in sweat, racked with pain, his exhaustion evident in the weakness in his eyes and his near inability to look up to find her, Mattias returns.

    His body is cleaved with dozens of wounds, some his Asgardian genes have worked to heal. The bones in his arm, still broken, pincer out through his skin on a forearm nearly mangled.

        The ber…had nearly killed him. Very nearly.

And once the doors to the keep swing open wide enough for his body to fit through, Mattias reaches behind his naked backside to the heavy paw, where each of his self-made knives have stabbed through like pins in a pincushion, safe keeping more than anything. His one set of working fingers wrap around the bear’s paw…and he drags the bear into view.

Two blue eyes, lined with the excess of exertion and a fresh coat of humanity removed, lift in search of Amora’s eyes.

    Mud and precious vitae splatter upon her floor as he drops to one knee.

He turns to face the beast.
    He rips one knife free from its forepaw.
        And begins to saw at the pelt.

There was no sleep, not truly. Not for Mattias where it was more exhaustion, and for Amora it was lucid states, where even when eyes closed it was a dance of visuals behind her eyes instead of upon the reflective pool.

Days passed, and in between, there was a moment where shadows sought to encroach upon the keep, questions of another, questions and a bit of anger at the inability to pass, the walls for a moment shook like waves had come to crash the Keep from the edge of the cliff and tumble it into the waters that have reshaped the land itself already into a breathtaking design of nature's destruction.

    ”You are not welcome here.” The words come out in a breath, an exhale born upon a hiss where it is accented by the draw of those hooked accents that clasp over fingers, dancing upon the shield where the ‘Looking Glass’ is still open to watch as realization comes upon Mattias’ face and the first meet of the bear is had, the surface rippling in its own quake, as if the impact of bodies shook even the nearby lands.
        ”I will only ask once more, En~chan~tress~. WHAT are //you ~doing~?”// The voice bears almost a chitinous clack in the backdrop, to emphasize every pause between the query while her name seems like it is being drug over a sharp blade.
            ”Changing a mislead fate.” But those words, as she says it her lips form into a smile, but her facade does not portray it, there is a steadfastness there as once more the water rocks,, from the center it rises in a small geyser of action, gravity defied - a massive drop reversed to draw it up and back and cast echoing lines across the pool.
                    ”Ask again, later. You should /know/. You do not play games very well. Hide your “toys” better next time.” And in those words something shook loose, there was a hint of wavering rage, either at the unwelcome company or the sight as blood even spreads across the top of the pool.

Her fingers unfurl from that lock on the edge, dropping the barbed tips within to pull them upward and drop the crimson water like tears from the tips to drop down, one by one and descend down the line of her hand, mingling into the chains and coating over the emerald accents that descend in their own hover.

Two more days… Timed by drops that fall from Enchanted fingertips and between, to the heavy footsteps of exhaustion and the drag of the massive hunt behind.
        The last drop falls from the press between middle and index when the doors to her Keep slam wide.

Mattias does not have to look far, when he comes to his knees the sound is evident of approaching footsteps, that call of tiny chimes made by the drag of spider webbed links. But not just over feet, a single line of path like paint ascends from the webs over tops of bare feet along legs to disappear beneath the gauzy descent of fabric strips, only shadowing the form beneath with every step she takes, revealing the path and line does not stop, over hips to link to the large metal dip of a widened ‘belt’ fashioned to sit low on her hips and fall in a cling of points, spires to fall over apex, cling down along hips and just along tailbone, adjoining fabric, and jewelry in a thrall.

Abdomen is bare save that continued webbed cling and climb, webbed over every press of cage that only shows contour with a deep breath taken in and held - captivated - when her eyes meet his. That is when she pauses in her steps, the leather woven ends of pearl blonde hair hangs over the linked and maille brassiere top, that full connection ceasing there just at the hem beneath the rise and fall of breath and life.

Slow. Amora knows better than to approach quickly. You let one loose with wild blood to do what is natural, do not expect him to return the tame beast you once knew.
        Amora had no such expectations. He deserves to know.

But when he twists to begin carving into his ber she pauses by his side, lowering slowly to kneel beside the massive funerary rite of one and life anew to another. Her one hand extends, touching upon his forearm where fracture shows through.
        Heal him?   
            “It will not heal right…” And this could take him more time. Let him fight her, the approach was gentle, her words a warning.
                A sudden movement and both hands are upon him, and with that strength his arm is readjusted, a heated draw to push through and if he did not fully shake her by then due to that still bubbling ire or pain..

Amora stands, returning her distance, feet and legs bearing the blood of her kneel as well as palms from contact, but unflinching she will wait, and watch..
            As the stone flooring of the entry to her keep bears tiny rivers of blood running between.

“Welcome back, my Odr.” Ecstasy/Fury/Inspiration… Worthy of Odin’s own. Those few words spoken lowly, accented by a predatorial lull of both calm endearment, and it’s own accent of a harbored rumble  to mate with the birth of thunder and a coming storm outside.

Seeing Amora, but not truly seeing her, it isn't until Mattias turns his eyes and slices past layers of the bear’s thick, fatty hide that he remembers her walk towards him. The image of her in his mind, so much bare skin, the intensity shared in their eyes, seems like weeks ago. A memory. Everything is fog in his mind. Overcome with pain that creeps over the end of firing nerve, an aching belly that hasn't eaten in a day, and a blood drenched form that hasn't slept in two, Mattias single-minds past his memory of Amora to his work.

Why did he return to this place?
It was important, then.
She is coming.

Upon her kneeling, Mattias casts past layers of mud-caked blonde hair a look of warning to Amora. Hungry in his own right, he seethes pain through his clenched teeth as his weakened fingers from his broken hand are little help to hold the bear's hide as he slices. The best he can manage is a weak thumb, tucked into the gore as the horned knife separates stringy gobs of sinew, like separating slices of packaged cheese. It's slow work, and the very reason why he did not return wearing the skin of his prey.

He needed a den to try to skin in before hunger took him again.

She moves faster than his mind can react.

The bone grates across bone, roughly scraping until the bones slat into place. Mattias howls out in pain, burrowing his forehead against the dead animal and biting hard to stifle pained sounds that would only attract other predators. His toes squeak on the hard floors, slipping in the shift of his weight on the blood she'd brought with her. When her work ends, the pain doesn't, and in his sudden reprisal to shift and shove her away from him with all of his might, his gore-caked fingers, wrapped about the sharpened antler, find only air.

He might have cut her, had he not missed.

The knife clatters to the stone.
An arm clutches to his chest, defending it from the outside forces that might breathe on it.

The resetting of his arm, fresh pain, is akin to a club to his forehead. A reset button. When the naked form of Mattias limps in a crouched circle, palm splayed upon the stone for balance. He gazes low to Amora's toes. There, he finds jewelry, not paw. His gaze travels up the span of leg to the barely present coverage of her belt, the violin-shaped outline of her abdominal muscles, the cups of maille clinging to her breasts. His teeth chatter and bite down until his gums turn a darker shade of pink, forced to arch his naked spine to seek out her eyes.

When their eyes meet…the fog clears. Recognition returns to his pain-racked eyes refocus and the clench of his teeth ends with a grind of bone over bone. His breath holds back the vein of relief his eyes betray to show, endearing in his own feral breathing, panting breaths huffed in her direction. She'd found a new way to test his mettle; he'd never known such dangers, not in Midgard. For the first time he'd truly faced the risk of death. The change is wrought upon his aura, but in such a look is little regret.
This is the path he had asked for.
Malekith, still, is deadlier quarry.

The first nod comes slowly, followed by a quick trio or nerve-snapped dips of his chin, signifying a true return to the present.

“I found it.” Mattias announces to her in a low baritone. He turns against the roll of thunder outside, felt through the stones through their ankles. He turns, reaching for his knife. “I…dont think this is done until I've worn his skin, you said-” Mattias threads the knife back under the flap of skin. With a hobbled bounce, he looms back into place against the horribly large bear. His train of thought is lost; it quickly resets itself. “But out there I wore a different skin. I understand now. I will never forget this one, but taking her skin, it deserves care.”

A care, and skill, his broken arm may befoul.

“You are…” Mattias grunts as his arm shifts, trying to slice, but the art is more of a ripping. “…my Odr, as well, Amora. Like fire. I wish I knew the word for fire right now. It escapes me.” Mattias pauses his work for a long, slow intake of breath. “But you are like fire, burning under my skin.”

“I need rest. I want you.” Mattias admits towards the beast beneath him, but his words meant for her. “Whatever comes next, I want to face it. I don't want to stop until I collapse. Midgard…”

Mattias reaches once more for the tuft of hide, weakly pulling it back in a refusal to stop his skinning.

“…everything there feels so superficial to me, now.”

Mattias’ swing with his forged blade from the antler of his first wild prey, barely missed. But Amora expected as much and no less. Even if he struck she would hold no ill against him for it. She made that beast happen when she sent him out with a new challenge.
    One to bring him closer to Asgard.
        Closer a foe to his ultimate Hunt.

He needed to know death for that, and he came close enough to kiss…
    Still teetering.

His word though, they bring her to stand at the edge where blood pools and seeks to continue the flow into the further corridors of her keep, pooling against the bare press of toes that form a dam between that entry and her own sentinel pose. Her eyes do not falter from Mattias, that pale jade lessening in presence once more, like the flicker of a storm-interrupted television screen there is a chill… A cast of frost that extends then.

From where toes touch upon blood splinters and shards, ice, cast intricate needles and webs, as the heated blood suddenly stops its attempted flow, a rapid drive to coat the layer of immaculate gore, a conception from Mattias’ hands and the one he fell. The body of the bear is frozen, a layer and sheen of white painting over the matted fur still bearing the remnants of moss and bramble upon its back, maw agape and the fog that rolls from it like an exhale of final deaths rattle.
        Preserved, in time and place as those shards of frost hang overhead like the glass and splinters within the club on his Birth Day. burðar-dagr. The day she presented herself to him.
        And that night he won more than he imagined to had nightmares of.

Amora cannot do it for him this was his to have and in doing so it would take from him. Enough has been already, his path was put in front of him, and she shoved him into it like a rough guiding hand should. Life or death, the very night he rose his hand to her and yelled, dared, and met the very rage he summoned.
        Leaving it lying now in a stilled heap in her entry.

There is a fire in those eyes as they return to pale and then alight with a flare that his words, and him - even in that state before her - ignites. “You will learn.”

Steps taken once more, closer then as she comes to lower before him, his form lifted with the feel of those metal barbs hooking along either side of his jaw, one beneath in a cusp, the other aligning, the tips painting paths through the honorific of mire and gore upon his skin, that scrape of ornamentation upon her grates over the ground beneath them, scraping the icy path.

“Get up, Odr.” A pause and Amora lifts, slightly in the embrace of him, her lips grazing over his brow, uncaring to embrace or touch upon the layers over his skin. Like any other Asgardian woman to the core, even she had pride for this. And slowly she rolls to a stand, bringing him with her in the ascension that comes with ease, like a levitation.

“Eat. Drink. Rest. Warm by the bruni. “ His definition and meaning for her given back to him as her lips fall away from his forehead, her hand releasing slowly even as strands of his matted blonde remain tangled and adhered to the links and tethers of her own ‘attire’.

“Do yourself and your name the honor you wish to, Mattias, Son of Lars.” Those words enough as those eyes bear facets in their depths before they leave him in a blink, a flutter of lashes like his would come in tandem to shutter the world out and open only within a room of sealed walls, the sound of falling water, and the thick, cloying heat of steam, Mattias standing within a bath of cleansed and heated water, already layers peeling away from skin.

“Midgard is only the smallest part of you, but not enough to matter. This is your home, your birthright.” Enchantress cannot be seen, but she is there somewhere, behind the veil of swirling mists like a shadow. A light flashes through, a whisper, and the odor of food cuts through and dances with the swirl of thickened air in the room.

“You have missed many years, but you have gained many already.”

The antler, an edge that is blunting quickly as it saws through the meat, comes to rest a defined wall of frosted, brown fur covered over in a layer of ice. The knife comes to a stop; it can cut no further. The pain-laced hold his broken hand guides against the fur is released, as is his blade, as the bear is trapped in preserving ice, a task for another time.

The barbs press into Mattias’ jaw, sprouting a superficial rivulet of his blood down his neck. His neck bares to her in his rising, walking his useful hand across the firm swell of her calf..
…her thigh.
…her belt.

When he comes to his full height, his thumb tucks into the maille edge of her belt for balance. Weakly, his lips extend, grazing the very tip of her chin. A muddy, maroon-stained remnant of his mouth is left behind there, cooling in the rush of air from his nose when his feet find purchase upon the frigid, bloodstained stones beneath. His forefinger dips into the inward curl of her navel, the belt about her hip jingles against his grip, a brief respite from his pain, an affection with no seek to sustain.
He did not stray too far from himself to forget that long night by the fire.
Now, over a mortal week in his past.

“I am following my instincts, my bruni.” Mattias begins, speaking in his new Asgardian tongue. His eyes drift close, graying mud cracking, dried and flaking away when her lashes flutter. “I'll learn the rules as I go, but I know who I am. More now.-” The heated water around Mattias, suddenly distracting. Had he forgotten time? The transition, so quick, leaves his tired bones momentarily beset with confusion. He looks down to the opaque waters that swallow his body to the ribs. He understands. “-I know how I want to be remembered.”

And in this…is the Asgardian in his soul. It claims perch upon his bloody shoulder like a crow. The now pales in importance to the legend of self. The burning, begging need for answers has drawn further back into his soul from his experiences in Asgard, molding him gradually from the youth who sought to slay his childhood demon…
…to the man who would one day seek to have his tales told around campfires.

Fresh water chimes and rushes as he buries his face into the steaming, opaque water. When he comes free for air, his lips and face are clean, streaming with waves of muddy water, blinding him. He wipes at his eyes and dips his chin to a hard point against his chest. Filthy, caked with mud and smelling of his kill, he reaches to the puckering wound in his shoulder. He circles the puncture with his fingertip, trying to rub the mud away from the weeping wound. The wounds come first.

“Will I be able to come and go one day, Bruni, like you do?” Mattias asks past the cacophony of his rumbling stomach. His lips twist downward, eyes scanning the mists in the demoralizing ache in his belly. His frown does not last long before his attention returns to his skin and his many wounds. “I have no desire to deny myself this, my birthright. There are things that will call me back to Midgard. Unfinished business. They're not important right now. This is important now,” Mattias quickly corrects himself with a shake of his head.

“Midgard isn't as important as this.” Mattias sluices blood from the wound, which seeps into the flow of water from his shoulder, pale, like diluted wine. “But my fight might be there someday. Far from home.”

In his fatigue, in his moment of reflection, his exhausted state, the shadow upon his eyes is visible. Mattias isn't a master of deception; he is no match for her wiles, or those or Loki and Malekith. Trained to kill, and not to deceive. Though the words do not come to his lips, the thoughts of them are ghosts in his eyes while he cleans his body.

His soul is flying, elated, blood boiling with purpose.
His emotions fight the tiny war within him.
He'd mentioned a mother.

They are directionless without something to fight.
To Fuck.
Or defend.

The smell of the food is something she thought would gather attention first, she knew he hunted, killed, sustained as needed but what came in the formidable shape of his destiny as a ber-sekir was a fight for life and a fight that shook to the core.
             Survival still at the forefront. Water and wounds first…. Food later.

Every touch from his hands radiated the exhaustion, and yet still that indomitable will and life roiling beneath his battered skin, enough so the cadence called in the brush of scant attire and the whisper of fabric along legs now painted in the path he just returned from.

Parting the mists of steam as if Amora is the breeze itself, she remains silent, only lowering to meet the edge of the waters with a tray balanced in one hand as she took her seat by the edge of the pool in a lounge akin to a feline - to the one she had so casually upon the chaise in Obscure.  

The metal serving dish is slid before her, scraping in contact and left to reveal the meat, bread, cheeses, and large pitcher of water bearing its own frosted outside that weeps in contrast to the rooms climate.

One arm extends for him, fingers uncurling in a light beckon that ushered the abeyant chime through the chamber.  “Come, my Odr, let me see the wounds. You remain and eat.

Should she do this? Perhaps not, but Bruni…
          Fire can help and heal, offering as much.

A cloth is gathered from a small neatly folded pile nestled in a corner with oils and soaps, dipped within the rolling waters and wrung free. But with every motion those eyes pass for nearly an emerald setting, deeper, reflective. Unnatural, but more fitting and true.

Mattias’ words of Midgard are heard and heeded, down to the look that overcame his eyes - clouded by mud, blood, and steam with the smell of fight and death still seeping from his pores and a wake on every breath.

“You are no captive, Mattias. I will take you when you wish to go. Once finished here,” A light tilt of her head toward the part of the keep where Ber awaits it's rite as well. “Midgard has less time then you, just be wary and remember what you still have to do.”

Those final words a touch on a memory, one that is ever raw but after time has been swathed in as much bruised ice as the beast below.
             It'd take more than an antlered knife to break through…
                                     …. Or….

Mattias gets a look for a moment that pales, but only a flicker upon her slow forming smile that at his angle, hovers just above the curled tip of her fingers held for him.

“If you wish for return… I can answer you.”

Making slow attempts to wipe his body clean, Mattias listens to the sounds of her footfalls. He tucks his water-slicked blonde hair behind one ear, keeping it pointed in her direction. His chest nearly clean, save for the gouges and welts left behind from where he has been bitten and raked, he is almost his normal self again when the mists part. He turns in the water to face her, stalled and frozen momentarily at the sway of the belt about her hips and the way her skin moves against her ribs as she sits halfway upon her side.
    The thoughts of Midgard aren’t so strong, then.
        But still, they remain.

Wading through the milky water, Mattias turns and breathes in the steam. His hips create a ripple effect beneath the surface as he walks through the pool, reaching out for Amora’s outstretched hand. With clean hands save for a layer of grit and blood beneath his fingers that’ll take proper tools to clean out, he curls his fingers into hers, balling them together, and wades to a stop beside her. His chin dips and his lips extend, pressing his mouth to the top of her knuckles, before setting her hand free.

He brushes his fingertips over her belly. A final pittance of attention to her, for all the ways he seems comfort in her closeness. An endeared, primal communion it has become; she’s no terrycloth blanket he seeks warmth in. Kinship. Alliance. A week in and he’s found a place by her side that he doesn’t speak of, but such a final pittance of attention her queenly aura beckons before he turns his better attention to his rumbling stomach.

“I don’t wish to return.” Mattias admits as he slides meat and cheese atop each other, folding the cut of meat against in a breadless sandwich. “I know I’m no prisoner, but I’m in no hurry right now. I couldn’t leave, I don’t wish to leave. Everything about me, right now, is rooted to this place and to these challenges you’re opening for me to go through. I want to be tested. I want to know what I’m capable of.” Mattias pauses to part his lips, pressing the food past his teeth. His cheek thickens against the weight of the food as he chews quickly, swallowing it down.

In that first swallow, the first non-charred meat he’s had in days, he finds flavor. He sighs through his nose and his eyelids flutter, eyes rolling back into their sockets.


“They’re going to grow old when I don’t, aren’t they?” Mattias comes to the toed line of his questions, the harsh, bitter reality about Midgard that he’s sensed while growing. The pull of the years flatlining into a long, long life ahead of him is a glowing fire deep within, one he’s begun to sense.


Mattias smirks with a thin vein of arrogance that leaps to his lips. He looks up to her face while rolling his next slice of meal, seeking to match her curled lips, sharing the inside cosmic joke with the woman. He twists his head and turns his wounded shoulder her way, and balances his re-set arm above the belt on her curled legs, leaving it there for her to work with, seeking her healing fire.

    But in Malekith’s treacherous ways, the seeds of frustration, not with his lost nature, but with Midgard, have been lain as well.

“No, Bruni,” Mattias finds his footing and shakes his head. “I do not want to be sent back. I’m going to see this through, for even the things you’ve said will come next after this last test. I know what is best for me, and…I feel that this is it.”

“You will,” His fingertips touch upon hers, and as they do, those barbed tips retract, but not not like a felines, the folds of tiny armor plates that make them and reinforce seem to simpy compact in and meld with the chains, leaving the touch incapable of the tiny draws she had wrought upon his jaw earlier.

When his hand draws down along her abdomen just over that belt of it’s own fashion of armor she is moving, serpentine in motion while legs slip forward and over the eave to dip into the pool he is within, remaining to opposing side, leaving him the platter in full access for a descent that slides her along the stone wall, heated by the consistent fall of the spring and the containment she has trapped it all within. “Find your answers, finish your trials, go back to Midgard. As long as you do not forget and betray your own purpose and people.” Even the Midgardian mother, but that is not stated openly, not when it is still bitter on her tongue and swells it from admission.

When he finally closes the space by turning and instead finding her where a wall should have been, that cloth is risen and her other hand rests upon his opposing shoulder, a brace there and his own trace of the wound is nothing like her pressure. The mend to the fracture, the pressure to the cloth that seems almost abrasive to slough away the grime and find the actual exposure, but once done there is a click of teeth and no warning…
        Brun… The pain is searing, and with a slight depth to it there is withdrawal and pressure in its wake as blood runs clean again, but blacker from that wound.        
            Her hand, fingers coated by tips in his blood, uncurl and leave him the tip of a canine from the bear,  tip the size of a thimble, entirety would have come far worse and likely not come this far from the truth… Ber…

“You lacked your blades, allowing me to be so bold my Odr.” A recollection of only moments past and Amora smiles but then leans forward, that cloth remaining pressed upon the wound before lips lightly press to his shoulder, a gesture where breath is felt in the same whispering pressure, enough so that when she pulls the towel free in an extension it moved from a deep crimson to a tinted pinkened hue, but nothing more seeps from the wound and the cleansing is fulfilled.

“I won’t let you forget, nor will I hold you captive, but you are right, Mattias. Here is best for you.” A pause and she reaches for something off the tray, and just as she held the claw, but higher, that sustenance is held before him.

“Finish this, your ber, and your next quest, is a reprieve. But by no means the end. You have only begun.” Mention her visitor in his absence?
                She knows better, and wants him ready.

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